Cryptolithus tesselatus

CRYPTOLITHUS TESSELATUS

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  A piece I submitted a while ago to ArtEvolved for their Trilobite gallery.  Cryptolithus is believed to have been a filter-feeding trilobite that used long, feathery gills on its thorax to sweep food-laden water into its large cephalic chamber (the shield on its head).  The long prongs on either side of its head were probably used to stabilize the animal on the seafloor.  Those little bits of stuff growing on it are epibionts-- little animals that encrust any hard surface, including the shells of larger animals.  Here these various freeloaders are swiping food from the current of water being swept into Cryptolithus' cephalic chamber.

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