Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology

Reconstruction of the Ordovician trilobite Triarthrus (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Classification Arthropoda
Proposed scientific names
Other names
Sea reported
First reported 1980[1]
Prominent investigators Roy P. Mackal
Karl Shuker

Trilobites were a diverse taxon of marine arthropods which existed throughout the Palaeozoic era, disappearing from the fossil record at the end of the Permian (~251 MYA). Although no sightings of trilobites have ever been recorded, their possible modern cryptozoological existence was suggested based on photographs of modern trackways on the seafloor resembling Cruziana, a trace fossil usually attributed to trilobites.[2] A University of Pittsburgh zoologist told Roy P. Mackal about these trackways in 1967, while he was making plans to capture the animals responsible for the "highly suggestive tracks". However, the project fell through, and as far as Mackal knew, the track maker was never identified.[1] Mackal's conclusion was that living trilobites were highly improbable,[1] and a number of Cruziana trace fossils discovered in freshwater and Triassic sediments, where trilobites are absent from the fossil record, have been atttributed to other, non-trilobite arthropods.[2][3]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mackal, Roy P. (1980) Searching for Hidden Animals: An Inquiry Into Zoological Mysteries, Cadogan Books, ISBN 978-0946313051
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shuker, Karl P. N. (2016) Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot?, Coachwhip Publications, ISBN 978-1616463908
  3. Donovan, Stephen "Cruziana and Rusophycus: Trace Fossils Produced by Trilobites... in Some Cases?," Lethaia, Vol. 43, No. 2 (2010)