Trilobite Estoniites laurssoni (Öpik, 1927)
length 28 cm, width 14.5 cm, height 16 cm
The largest whole trilobite fossil found in Estonia was obtained from the Kohtla mine and donated to the university in 1927. This trilobite species was first described by Armin Öpik, Professor of Geology and Paleontology of the University of Tartu. Trilobites were common Ordovician and Silurian marine arthropods whose average length was 2–10 cm. Evolution of marine biota caused made them extinct by the end of the Paleozoic Era.
Giant trilobite fossils have been found very rarely, since large specimens slowly crawling on the bottom of the sea could hardly escape the notice of fish and other organisms preying on them. This specimen, whose protective shell was partially collapsed, was found in kukersite oil shale from the Kukruse stage, the richest in Estonia in terms of fossil finds.
The project is curated by Inge Kukk
The project is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia