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Harpes macrocephalus (GOLDFUSS)

Ahrdorfschichten, Lower Middle Devonian

Auberg, Eifel (Germany)

Width of the cephalon about 1.2 cm and 2.5 cm

Specimens of the genus Harpes are conspicious bottom dwellers. With their cephalon, formed like a horseshoe, they glided over the ground like a hoover, searching for organic particles. We do not believe that they filtered the water by swirling these particles at their underside from their back to the frontside and pressed these paricles through the small pores, that are to be obeserved very well at the cephalon as light spots. Because of the small diameter of the pores and the viscosity of the water, it seems to be impossible to press water through (click here to see a very enlarged picture).

We think that it is more probable, that these pores have been small coves for chemosensilla, so that the Harpes-trilobite could sniff over the ground to find something deliciuous.

It seems that they had not been able to look very good, because they had very small compund eyes with just two facetts.

(By the way, the small elevation on the rim of the larger specimen is the lost right eye, that laid there now since several hundreds of million years.)

Harpes macrocephalus (GOLDFUSS)
Asaphida Harpina Illaenina Lichida Phacopina Proetina
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