COMPTONASPIS swallowi: Plain Design And End of a Reign


By Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl

The COMPTONASPIS swallowi species is another trilobite appearing at the end of the reign of trilobites.

There was a catastrophic event at the end of the Permian period, which resulted in the trilobites being wiped out. This Mississippian bug typically only grows to about one-half an inch and rarely to even one inch long. It is quite rare in the Chouteau Formation of Saline County, Missouri.

It has an elongated oval-shaped body with eyes set close together on the cephalon, and it has a raised glabella. It is quite plain in design, with no spines and the lobes are nearly equal in width.

DID YOU KNOW: Trilobites, an extinct form of arthropod related to insects, crabs, crayfish, and horseshoe crabs, are among the most prevalent invertebrates with hard body parts to appear during the Cambrian Period. These creatures are called trilobite due to the three distinct “lobes” running vertically through the body section.

Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl and his daughter, Jen “PaleoJen” Kchodl.

About the columnist: Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl is a paleontologist, educator, veteran, author, fossil dig organizer/guide, business owner, husband, father, and grandfather, and fossil fanatic. For decades, he’s spent hours in classrooms around the Midwestern United States and beyond, speaking to school children about fossils and fossil hunting. Visit his site to purchase fossils, contact PaleoJoe, visit

Plus, learn more about PaleoJoe and his daughter PaleoJen and their paleontology exploration partnership in an the article Fueling a Passion for Paleontology.

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