Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hunting Trilobites (Not Quail)

Book Cover: Trilobites by  Riccardo Levi-Setti

West Virginia is a good place to hunt trilobites, although, inexplicably, I haven't been trilobite hunting since I moved here. I haven't been fishing much either, although I enjoy that as well. Nevertheless, I've mentioned trilobites as one of my "Natural history" interests on my biographical sketch outline, and, in the interests of fleshing out a real bio, as Jakob Neilsen recommends, here are a few notes and references on these charming animals.

  • Introduction to the Trilobita: Gone, but not forgotten. This is a resource of The University of California at Berkeley Museum of Paleontology. The site is huge, comprehensive, and everything I've seen so far is excellent, both interesting and accurate. The trilobite section is no exception.
  • A Guide to the Orders of Trilobites: A site devoted to understanding trilobites. I don't believe I've ever seen such a great personal site! Here is the author bio:
    This site's pages (and the majority of its figures) were designed and created by Dr. Sam Gon III, a biologist (PhD, Animal Behavior; MA, Zoology (Ecology, Behavior and Evolution) who is greatly intrigued by the expression of ancient biodiversity that trilobites represent. Sam's professional work is in the conservation of global biodiversity today. He serves as the Senior Scientist for The Nature Conservancy's Hawaii Field Office in Honolulu. Sam has long been interested in paleobiology, and in teaching himself about trilobites, using hyperlinks to cross-reference terminology and concepts, found himself developing something of potential interest to a broader audience. The site was unveiled in August 1999 and has attracted feedback from around the world, generating ongoing updates. For all the accolades this site has gathered, Sam is not a professional trilobitologist, but a devoted trilobitophile!
    There are trilobite walking animations, exhaustive discussions of morphology and paleoecology, taxonomy and nomenclature discussions, and links to many other sites. This site is worth a visit whether you are interested in trilobites or in what an enthusiast can do with a Web site when he sets his mind to it. This is what we hoped the Internet would be like.


DuneFan said...

Good evening, my friend! I have a favor to ask...I realize this is way off the subject of trilobyte hunting...but would you please consider addign an rss feed to your blog. I would like to add it to my aggregator.


P.S. Which Linux distro do you use????

Rebecca Clayton said...

I have an rss feed (but no button to click on yet. Here's the url:

I use Debian testing, mostly. I've installed Ubuntu and it works well enough if if your machine has plenty of memory. The Debian archives have lots more programs, particularly some of my favorites, that Ubuntu doesn't include. I use Linux on older machines, so I often want an install without a desktop environment.

Dharia said...

very cool! i'm a molecular biologist now, but as an undergrad i focused on evolution and paleontology. i was a TA for paleo classes for many years. we went on field trips to upstate NY and found a few trilos there. now i just work with DNA, but i miss fossils!

Reya Mellicker said...

Tribolites arecharming animals and i will check out the site. Thank you!

Rebecca Clayton said...

I was an evolutionary biologist in grad school, but the need for Gainful Employment pushed me into molecular biology. Sadly, it never really "took." I just missed the visual stimulation of morphology too much. This summer, I'm going fishing for trilobites for sure!

I hope you enjoy the trilobite site as much as I do. It's a fine example of how "labor of love" sites can be the best of all.