Trilobites: Prehistoric Bolivia

by Andre

The trilobite was related to lobsters, horseshoe crabs, and spiders. Trilobites lived from the lower Cambrian period to the Permian period 521 to 240 million years ago, when they went extinct. They almost went extinct 364 million years ago because an asteroid came falling down to the earth and wiped out almost all living things. Trilobites have been found all over the world in areas that are, or used to be covered by seawater. Some species of trilobites grew to be up to 70 centimeters 27 1/2 inches long. There are 20,000 species of trilobite in the world. Instead of bones, trilobites have an exoskeleton. An exoskeleton is when the hard skeleton part of the body is on the outside and the soft parts of the body are on the inside. A trilobite has a shell for protection. Trilobites ate plankton, worms, and other trilobites. The name Trilobite means "three lobes" because their bodies were made of three different sections. The trilobite's weapons were its claws. It's main enemies were sea scorpions. Trilobites lived longer than dinosaurs.

So you're probably wondering what this has to do with Bolivia. Well, the trilobite Eldredgeia venusta is the most common trilobite found in South America, and it's from Bolivia! But what's so interesting is that most of the trilobites in Bolivia are found way high up in the mountains at 12,000 feet 3000 meters or more above sea level. Can you guess how did trilobites get all the way up to the top of the Andes Mountains? Take a guess down in the comments.

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Submitted 2015-01-20

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Jul 20, 2015
Beautiful Bolivian trilobites
by: Andrew

There are people like this Anonymous that the only thing is to try to look bad Bolivia.
Most of the fossils that are sold in the market are original. There are very few copies and are generally very rude, so it is easy to realize when a trilobite is a fake. You can find great quantity of trilobites and other fossils in Bolivia, so they are cheap.

LeGrand Smith "Trilobites of Bolivia An Odyssey" book says:

No country in the Southern Hemisphere can pride itself in the abundance, the variety, or the preservation of species of Devonian trilobites as has been harvested in the Bolivian Andes.

The famed French scientist, Alcide d’Orbigny was the first to score, describing verneuili. There followed publications from South Africa, and in succession, texts about Brazil, Argentina, the Malvine Islands, Perú, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
Their outcrops were deposited in marine sediments surrounding the Gondwana supercontinent, the fossils themselves catalogued in the Malvinokaffric Realm. During this stage of geological history these shores were separated and isolated from the rest of the globe. Ecological conditions favored the flowering of endemic species, which means the ones limited to those environments, unequaled elsewhere. It took the experts some time to recognize that what pertained to the Malvinokaffric could not be included in the varieties formally studied by researches in Europe and North America. Of course d’Orbigny was not aware of this, so he placed his new trilobite in the genus Calymene. Kozlowski did not improve by attaching it to Acaste. At present it is very comfortable in Pennaia verneuili.

The trilobites that bred in Devonian seas and now preserved in Bolivian rocks were deposited at the levels now universally known as Pragian, Emsian, Eifelian, and Givetian., roughly between 390 and 370 million years ago. They are classed in the following families: Calmoniidae, Dalmanitidae, Lichidae, Aulacopleuridae, Homalonotidae, Phacopidae, Proetidae, Calymenidae, and Encrinuridae.

Don’t count on me to name all these without crib notes. I do know about some of them, especially the Calmoniids because of their notable expansion into many groups, and as the only Family limited to the Malvinokaffric. Here, too, the Bolivian team out-represented all its rivals by the number of genera and species, and certainly the specimens collected.

Jan 26, 2015
In response to Miranda
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately, many of those fossils sold in the markets in La Paz are fake so you have to be careful. If they were real, they wouldn't sell them so cheap. But some of them are real so you have to really know the difference.

Also, most tourists don't know this, but did you know that it is illegal to take out of Bolivia any fossils or any other cultural antiquities you find? This includes pieces of ancient pottery, or clothing, or bones, fossils, etc.

Jan 26, 2015
Trilobytes at 13000 ft
by: Kermit

No guessing here. 1) Every scientist knows it takes 1000's of feet of water to create the pressure needed for these fossils to be formed. This has only happened once in history due to the flood which was both naturally and supernaturally orchestrated by God Himself. Noah was alive for more than 50 years of Abraham's life as well as Noah's son, Shem (Shem outlived Abraham by 35 yearsF), so Abraham had at least 2 eyewitnesses. The information of flood could not be "changed" due to multiple people passing along the account of it. By Abraham's time (and even Noah's time), the keeping of exact records was a science which was alive and well long before Moses came along. 2) As to how these things got up to 13000 feet, there is only one logical guess to this. God setup, brought, put together (however He manipulated the natural world?) the waters of the flood through 40 days of rain and through braking up the fountains of the deep. So, as the water under the earth came to the surface through large holes giant cracks, large cavities would be left behind into which the earth would sink down into. This process somehow caused a major colliding of the earth's plates causing the Rocky mountains and the Andes mountains to be thrust up and formed. The oceans and the dry land before the flood looked very different that they did after the flood. Much of what was ocean was raised up above sea level. This is why we see see life at 13000 and in lower elevations such as the state of Ohio. My father-in-law has found large rocks with fossils identical to the ones found in Bolivia at Coaba farm in the Cheje/Sorata district and identical to the ones near lake Titicaca. Twice the Bible mentions that God had to plug up the gushing out of the water from below the earth (Genesis 8:2 "stopped" and Proverbs 8:28 "strengthened"). So it could have been worse. Recently, the scientists have figured out that there may still be a lot of water under the earth's crust, but God has said that there will not be another world wide flood, so that settles that.

Jan 26, 2015
by: Miranda Kay

That is so interesting to know. So my question is, when all those people in La Paz are trying to sell fossils, are they all real? Sometimes they look so good I dismiss them as fake.

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