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Asaphiscus facts for kids

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Asaphiscus
Temporal range: 510–499Ma
Middle Cambrian
Asaphiscus wheeleri red CRF.jpeg
Asaphiscus wheeleri, Cambrian shale, Utah
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Ptychopariida
Family:
Asaphiscidae
Genus:
Asaphiscus

Meek, 1873
Species
  • A. wheeleri Meek, 1873 (type)
  • A. laeviceps (Walcott, 1884) = Ptychoparia laeviceps, Eteraspis laeviceps
Synonyms

Eteraspis

Asaphiscus is a genus of trilobite that lived in the Cambrian. Its remains have been found in Australia and North America, especially in Utah.

Asaphiscus wheeleri grey CRF
Asaphiscus wheeleri, 37mm long

Distribution

  • A. wheeleri occurs in the Middle Cambrian of the United States (Delamaran, Lower Wheeler Shale, Millard County, Utah, 40.0°N, 113.0°W; and Menevian, Wheeler Formation, House Range, Utah, 39.2° N, 113.3° W).

Description

Asaphiscus are average size trilobites of (up to 8 centimetres or 3.1 inches) with a rather flat calcified dorsal exoskeleton of inverted egg-shaped outline, about 1½× longer than wide, with the widest point near the back of the headshield (or cephalon). The cephalon is about 40% of the body length, is semi-circular in shape, has wide rounded genal angles, and a well defined border of about ⅛× the length of the cephalon. The central raised area of the cephalon (or glabella is conical in outline with a wide rounded front and is separated from the border by a preglabellar field of about ⅛× the length of the cephalon, and has 3 sets of furrows that may be clear or inconspicuous. The articulated middle part of the body (or thorax) has 7-11 segments (9 in A. wheeleri), with rounded tips. The tailshield (or pygidium) is about 30% of the body length, is semi-circular in shape, with a wide flat border, and an entire margin.

Reassigned species

Some species originally described as belonging to Asaphiscus have later been reassigned to other genera.

  • A. capella = Glyphaspis capella
  • A. granulatus = Genevievella granulata
  • A. gregarius = Blainia gregarius
  • A. minor = Cedaria minor
  • A. unispinus = Weeksina unispina
  • A Pictorial Guide to Fossils by Gerard Ramon Case
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