Unusual shape: MODOCIA typicalis


By Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl

There are many species of MODOCIA, and this one typicalis, or typical, is quite common in the Cambrian deposits of Millard County, Utah.

This trilobite is the most famous and showy of the MODOCIA trilobites. It is generally oval in shape, and the body section usually has 14 thoracic segments. The thoracic segments end in short spines except for the last ones, which are slightly elongated.

The pygidium is quite small. The Cephalon is roughly semi-circular in shape and fairly un-ornamented except for the mid-length genal spines. It has a thin axial lobe and slightly wider pleural lobes.

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 www.paleojoe.com.

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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