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Picture yourself swimming in the shallows of Lake Erie over 400 million years ago. You might come up with all kinds of ideas of what primitive life was like. Some might imagine archaic sharks and bony, lobe-finned fish, but I bet very few would conjure up Phacops Rana.
This specialized trilobite can be found throughout Norfolk County in shale deposits and occasionally on our beaches, embedded in fossilized chunks of coral. One member of The Silo team discovered a beautiful specimen preserved this way, but it takes a keen eye to recognize them. That’s because the only way to find them is to identify the one feature of Phacops Rana that is its namesake: phacopid eyes. You see, this trilobite had two large eyes that were full of round, swiveling lenses, giving the creature an advantage when it came to escaping predators.