Trilobite fossil recovered from southwestern Saskatchewan subsurface Earlie Formation core sample

During his studies on the subsurface geology and ichnology of the Basal Sandstone Unit and Earlie Formation in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Ph.D. student Andrei Ichaso conducted core analysis of the study area. One of the studied core samples records the tide-influenced marginal-marine shales of the middle Cambrian Earlie Formation (~500 Ma), and also happened to capture something else. The complete body fossil of a trilobite, a Paleozoic marine invertebrate, was caught and preserved within the drill core! The trilobite was identified by a National University of Cordoba Ph.D. student, and former M.Sc. student in the Department of Geological Sciences at USask, Neal Handkamer, as Modocia. The specimen is around 32 mm long and recovered from a drilling depth of 2.3 km. This discovery marks the first occurrence of a trilobite body fossil of Cambrian age from the province of Saskatchewan. Following this discovery, the trilobite was featured on the front cover of the 2023 Saskatchewan Geoscience Calendar from the Saskatchewan Geological Society!

Congratulations to Andrei on this awesome and remarkable find!

Written by Jack Milligan

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