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Red Devonian trilobites with green eyes from Morocco and the silicification of the trilobite exoskeleton


Klug, C; Schulz, H; De Baets, K (2009). Red Devonian trilobites with green eyes from Morocco and the silicification of the trilobite exoskeleton. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 54(1):117-123.

Abstract

Latest Emsian (Early Devonian) sediments at the famous mud−mound− and trilobite−locality Hamar Laghdad (Tafilalt,
Morocco) yielded some red−coloured remains of phacopid trilobites. Closer examination revealed that the eyes of these phacopids are often greenish in colour. EDX−analyses showed that the lenses retained their original calcitic composition, possibly greenish due to Fe−impurities, while most of the exoskeleton was silicified. The silicified parts contain elevated concentrations of iron which causes the red colour. This phenomenon is explained by the porosity of the exoskeleton in contrast to the homogeneous and massive construction of the lenses and their Mg−content. These incompletely silicified trilobites enabled a reconstruction of the silicification process in trilobites. Their diagenetic alteration probably occurred as a result of events associated with the Cretaceous transgression.

Latest Emsian (Early Devonian) sediments at the famous mud−mound− and trilobite−locality Hamar Laghdad (Tafilalt,
Morocco) yielded some red−coloured remains of phacopid trilobites. Closer examination revealed that the eyes of these phacopids are often greenish in colour. EDX−analyses showed that the lenses retained their original calcitic composition, possibly greenish due to Fe−impurities, while most of the exoskeleton was silicified. The silicified parts contain elevated concentrations of iron which causes the red colour. This phenomenon is explained by the porosity of the exoskeleton in contrast to the homogeneous and massive construction of the lenses and their Mg−content. These incompletely silicified trilobites enabled a reconstruction of the silicification process in trilobites. Their diagenetic alteration probably occurred as a result of events associated with the Cretaceous transgression.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:25 Mar 2009 12:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:11
Publisher:Polska Akademia Nauk
ISSN:0567-7920
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4202/app.2009.0112
Official URL:http://www.app.pan.pl/article/item/app54-117.html
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-17957

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