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Dave Mielke

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Trilobites

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Vertabrates

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Other Fossils

America has been built on the backs of trilobites. During the Paleozoic Era when trilobites were living in the warm ocean waters south of the equator, America’s bedrock was being prepared. Trilobites lived through the entire Paleozoic Era of 300,000,000 years. Now America is north of the equator because of plate tectonics which caused movement from 1 to 2 inches a year all the way to 25 inches during early Paleozoic times. So the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian trilobites that we find in the bedrock in Ohio have moved over 3000 miles from where they were when they were alive. Trilobites are found in all Paleozoic bedrock and therefore are part of the foundation for America’s infrastructure, its highways and buildings. Ohio’s cement is made with Devonian limestone and shale, bedrock which contains millions of trilobites especially Phacops or Eldredgeops . In our lifetime each American will need 65,543 pounds of cement, to maintain our standard of living, that’s a bunch of trilobites. Most building stone in Ohio is Silurian and Devonian dolomite which contains millions of Calymenes and Phacops or Eldredgeops. Aggregate for drive ways, alleys, and roadbeds is often the same so trilobites by the millions are laid down there, too. Every sidewalk, house foundation, street and skyscraper is built with trilobites, it cannot be avoided. We will use 12,528 pounds of stone each year for every person in America to maintain our standard of living, that’s a load of trilobites. Every sheet of paper has a thin coating of calcium carbonate to provide the friction needed for your pen or pencil to work. You might be writing on trilobites. Every stick of gum is coated with calcium carbonate so it does not stick to the wrapper. You might be eating trilobites. Trilobites are everywhere but seldom seen and hardly ever recognized. No one seems to be willing to give trilobites credit for what they have done and what they are still doing. Trilobites were one of the first animals to have legs which enabled them to walk and run. Their tracks are the earliest to be found on what was once the ocean floor. Trilobites are one of the first animals on the planet to have eyes. They were the first to see their watery world. Seeing where they were going proved to be very advantageous for trilobites. Trilobites were the first arthropods, they have jointed legs and they shed their exoskeleton in order to grow. This life form has proven to the most successful, if you measure success in numbers. There are more species of arthropods on planet earth than any other life form. Every ant you step on, every spider you squash, every fly you swat, every mosquito you kill and every shrimp you eat is an example of an arthropod. Scientists claim that if the earth is incinerated by an asteroid or nuclear war, it is the cockroach, another arthropod, that will survive. Because of all that trilobites have given to us on this planet, I have made it my mission to see that trilobites get some recognition. It is my job to rescue the few that I can before they are ground up into cement or crushed into asphalt. So I get permission to go into quarries where trilobites are being mined to be transformed into useful products. I need to get there before the bedrock is taken to the crusher. Please understand these trilobites I am trying to rescue are now fossils. No trilobite has been alive for the last 250,000,000 years. They finally died out in the Permian extinction. The exoskeletons of trilobites have been preserved in the bedrock in many ways. In some the original chitin shell of the trilobites has been replaced with minerals molecule by molecule and you see an almost perfect representation of the original trilobite. In dolomite bedrock the calcite replacement has been dissolve by magnesium in the water and you see only an internal and external mold of the trilobite. It is these trilobites that I’m trying to find as I search the bedrock so that I may share the beauty of their creation with others who might not have the time or opportunity. Enjoy the web site.