Monday, January 21, 2008

Toy Trilobites

Recently, my girlfriend brought me a great toy trilobite from the Royal Ontario Museum. It came as part of a collection of Burgess Shale fauna replicas, based on research carried out by the museum's Paleontology Department in an effort to gain greater understanding of the creatures of the Cambrian ocean. The Burgess Shale is located in the mountains of British Columbia, and contains some of the best preserved Cambrian fossils in the world, prized for their incredible detail. They show remarkable preservation of even soft tissue, making them extremely valuable. We are able to see many structures that are normally destroyed before fossilization, including the legs, gills and antennae of the trilobite Olenoides serratus (below).



Also include are Wiwaxia; a sort of armored slug, Pikaia; an early chordate, Laggania; kind of a big, nasty sea-monkey, and Opabinia, a crazy, five-eyed creature with a mobile proboscis at the end of which is its presumed mouth. These creatures are just a small sample of the life from that ancient time of incredible biodiversity.





9 comments:

stevelew said...

You can still get these? I tried to order them online and no one ever got back to me.

Andrew said...

You have to contact them directly, and it's a bit of a hassle. I never got around to doing it that way, though I tried twice. I'm glad my girlfriend was in T.O. for a conference, or I'd prob'ly still be hankerin' for 'em.

ypsidixit said...

Ooh, cool! One wishes it was was easy to order them online. Their "Contact Us" link doesn't seem to work...phooey.

But--hmm, Toronto is not even an hour away from me, just on the other side of Detroit.

Hmm...hmm...I think I know what I'll be doing on my next work-break! You've given me a great tip--thank you!

The Flying Trilobite said...

I love that set! Great little ones.

A friend of mine has been buying interesting toys for her toddler. He has a set of plush viruses and bacteria. When he'sa bit older, I'm sure these will be in his toy chest.

I can't wait until the ROM re-opens the invertebrate fossils in the old dino gallery. It's going to be a lot of room for a lot of fossils.

And a lot of afternoons of drawing for me....

Andrew said...

The ROM is a great spot to visit, and I'm pretty sure it is now open again.

The Flying Trilobite said...

Most of the ROM is open. The invertebrate fossils are still under reconstruction.

Andrew said...

Youch, burn!!

The Flying Trilobite said...

....??.....

Hmm, sorry, wasn't aiming for a burn...just trying to clarify.

I'm loving your site. Your sculptures are incredible. And thanks for the link.

Andrew said...

Oh, it's nothing personal, it's a burn to all who love paleoinvertebrates! Thanks for your great feedback!