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Rare Finds

The best website with information on Trilobites

The terrific Burgess Shales


The following images are of Cambrian age trilobites from a uniquely prolific shale found at Site 3 in the Canadian Rockies.  Every species found in the shale is thought to be undescribed, that is, un-named and new to science.

The exhaustive work of describing and naming these fossils is being undertaken by, and is reserved for, the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Anyone with questions can contact me at

EXTRACTION INSTRUCTIONS : These trilobites tend to be at an angle to the split plane, if you look for the bumps on the flat surfaces they are usually fossils, and you can read the angle after you have tried one or two. Try the smaller bumps first to get the feel. I get good results by tapping with a small hammer and a thin screwdriver or paint scraper to split the rock at the proper angle beside the trilobites.

My son gets good results just by tapping gently with the hammer on a flat hard surface. The shale breaks down in water, it gets mushy, and this too may be a good method to explore.

Often you will find the trilobite as a hard wafer of calcite. Sometimes there is less detail on these wafers but if you carefully pry the wafer from the shale you will find good detail in the impression. Usually there is both a good negative and positive impression in the shale, plus the free-standing trilobite itself. Examples of these wafers and an impression can be see in the below picture.



Species found thus far: new type Wujiajiania, new type Parabolinella, new type Irvingella, new type Pterocephalia, agnostids and others.


Images of several Trilobite species found in the trilobite shale.

Possible new type of Parabolinella. Seems to be the most common species present.


Probable species of Proceratopyge. Also found in good numbers, distinctively wide pygidium

A view of a probable Pterocephalia


Irvingella species. Only a few of these found so far.

Not sure about these.