Eye of a 400 million year old trilobite - Phacops speculator

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Bruce Williams
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Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: Northamptonshire, England

Eye of a 400 million year old trilobite - Phacops speculator

Post by Bruce Williams »

Hi folks,

I’ve owned this fossil trilobite, Phacops speculator for years and although I’d previously looked at it with a 10X watchmaker’s loupe, I was very surprised at the level of detail that was revealed through the Meiji microscope.

This specimen was found in Morocco and is 45mm long with the eye measuring approximately 6mm in diameter.

Phacops lived in the middle Devonian period approximately 400 million years ago. The genus is noted for their unusual (schizochroal) compound eyes with their widely spaced, bulbous facets. The whole eye was mounted on a short stalk which enabled it to swivel rather like the eyes of a chameleon. See this website for information on the lens structure of this trilobite’s eyes:


The first pic was obviously not taken through the microscope but has been included to provide context and scale for the other photo (stack of 11 images).




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