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Big-eye trilobite: Erbenochile

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A startling fossil trilobite from Devonian (410-360 million years old) rocks in Morocco. The Museum has been fortunate to pre-empt private collectors for a scientifically important specimen. Richard Fortey has now named this trilobite Erbenochile - and it is particularly important in that it is so far the only one of its kind (or genus) found.

the new trilobite's tower-like eye

Its most amazing feature is its highly developed, tower-like eyes. No other trilobite has developed its visual system in quite this way. It also shows a splendid array of spines on its dorsal surface, and around the tail (pygidium).

These eyes may remind you of the eyes of flatfish, which protrude above the sand the creature lies in. This trilobite may have had a similar habit as it grubbed for food on the seabed.