It's time for Trilobite Tuesday! The fossils of the Silurian-age Rochester Shale in upstate New York were originally noted during the construction of the Erie Canal, a project that went on from 1814 until 1825. At the time, the discovery of these 430 million year old specimens caused as much confusion and consternation among the scientific community as they did answers. Quite simply, no one had ever previously seen a treasure trove of material quite like this, and few - if any -- knew what to make of these fossil riches.
Some of the earliest scientific descriptions of many ancient species were based on discoveries made within this renowned fauna. The site has long been famous for its outstanding preservation and abundance of invertebrate life, with more than 200 described species including corals, bryozoans, brachiopods, bivalves -- as well as over a dozen recognized trilobite species, including Bumastus ioxus, like the large, 8 cm example pictured here. #trilobitetuesday #trilobite #trilobites #amnh #nyhistory #rochesterny #rochester #eriecanal #silurian