November 3rd Program -- Trilobites: From Cambrian Oceans to West Virginia Collecting Sites, presented by Casper Voogt

By Yury Kalish, MSDC Vice President

Photo by Wes Warren on Unsplash

Our presenter in November is our own webmaster Casper Voogt. Casper has presented to the club on multiple occasions, often to discuss his Mindat trips to far-flung locations around the world. This time, however, Casper will take us on a journey far back in time – to the time of trilobites.  

We do not have many fossil-related presentations in our club, but this topic is special. Trilobites were ubiquitous in the Earth’s oceans for over a quarter of a billion years – from the beginning of the Cambrian Period to the end of the Permian Period, when they fell victims of the “great extinction” that wiped out over 90% of life on Earth.  

Trilobites serve as index fossils, enabling geologists to date the age of the rocks in which they are found.  Additionally, their small size, abundance, and broad range allows us to collect them in many locations in this country, including in our own backyard in West Virginia. Casper’s presentation will discuss trilobites’ evolution and anatomy, his own experience collecting them, and review the tools he uses for cleaning, preserving, and displaying the specimens.