Arctinurus boltoni
    Middle Silurian - 430 Million Years Old
    Rochester Shale Formation, Middleport, New York

    Trilobites are extinct arthropods that were the dominant multi-celled organisms during the first 200 million years of the Earth's faunal explosion, which started at the end of the Precambrian Period. They come in a myriad of shapes and sizes depending on which ecological niche that they occupied, and the morphology and behavior of their predators and prey. Their fossils are found virtually everywhere in the world, and they are the most popular and widely-collected fossil in the world.

    Arctinurus is the undisputed "King" of American trilobites and is widely considered the most desirable and sought after trilobite from the entire Western Hemisphere. It is found as complete specimens at only one location in the world: the Rochester Shale near Buffalo, New York. It is characterized by a having a unique "bat wing" appearance to its posterior segments and a very ornate, stealth-bomber shaped head (cephalon) with raised, multi-faceted eyes, and a gorgeous pustulose (i.e. pimply) surface texture, giving it an appearance quite unlike any other trilobite genus in the world. Exceptionally aesthetic, Arctinurus demonstrates dramatically the beauty of nature's designs and of form following function. Only about a dozen of these incredible trilobites are collected each year. Contrast this with the tens of thousands of the beautiful and exotic trilobites from the famous Russian and Moroccan sites that are found every year, and one can understand the truly exceptional rarity of this American beauty. This will be the final year of production in the quarry due to the huge amount of overburden covering the productive layers and the reduced find rate, and when the fall comes, no more Arctinurus will be able to be collected. Thus, their rarity can only increase in the future. This particular specimen is superb in every regard, and uncommonly large, measuring 6 inches long by 4 ¾ inches wide -- only about one in one hundred Arctinurus specimens are this large. It exhibits exceptional preservation and detail and is highly three-dimensional giving it the appearance of a fine bas-relief sculpture. Minor crack repair and restoration amounting to 5% or less of the surface area has been expertly done to preserve and enhance the beauty of this pristine trilobite. On a natural matrix plate, 8 x 7 ¾ inches.

    Estimate: $4,500 - $5,500.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,130

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