A stylized trilobite

A trilobite is a (presumably) extinct arthropod living over 300 million years ago in prehistoric seas. Trilobites are prolific in the fossil record, with nine (or ten) orders having been identified and over 15,000 species in those orders. Like other arthropods, they had multiple body segments and jointed legs joined to at least one segment.

Trilobite fossils can be found in the rocks of all continents, and other than missing the finer, delicate structures such as antennae and legs, are frequently found in good condition. The smallest specimens can be only a millimeter long, whereas the largest found are over 70 centimeters. They are composed of a cephalon (head), made of various fused sections; a thorax composed of freely articulating segments; and a pygidium (tail). The tri in trilobite, however, is from the three lengthwise body lobes which comprises the whole of the animal through its various segments.

Agatha's trilobite badge

The trilobite is also the badge of House Heterodyne, and is seen profusely through the town of Mechanicsburg - on gates, moldings, arches, fanlights and as badges in various materials on officials and other servitors of the House. One set of excellent examples is how the trilobite is used at the Great Hospital at Mechanicsburg, both on the building and the uniforms. Local bakers even make a regionally-famous gingerbread shaped into Heterodyne trilobites.

Tentative identification of the species likely used as a model for the badge is the Elrathia kingii.

It's been said that trilobite fossils are found all over the land in and around Mechanicsburg, though why a family which started as a murderous horde would choose something as... scientific as the trilobite is entirely open to speculation, as word does not seem to have survived the centuries. Could it be that some Heterodyne ancestor saw how prolific and widespread the creatures had been, and declared that the Heterodynes would likewise blanket the world? Or could it be that he saw them as hardy survivors, and vowed his family would be likewise? Either way, the trilobite, stylised into a generic badge form, has proved to be an easily-identifiable and utterly distinctive symbol of a House equally distinctive.

Possibly relevant outside information[edit | edit source]

From the Girl Genius Yahoo! Group, Message #1637:

Trilobite Creole[edit | edit source]

Categories: cambrian, critters, extinct, seafood, weird
Yield: 6 servings

  •  2 pounds fresh trilobites*
  •  1 quart water
  •  ½ cup vegetable oil
  •  3 medium yellow onions, chopped
  •  2 large bell peppers (red, green or yellow), chopped
  •  5 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 10 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  1 teaspoon red pepper (ground)
  •  ½ teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  •  ½ teaspoon white pepper (ground)
  •  2 teaspoons dried thyme
  •  2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1½ teaspoon sugar
  •  5 bay leaves
  •  1 cup green onions, chopped
  •  1 cup parsley, chopped
  •  1 teaspoon Tabascotm sauce, or more to taste

* If trilobites are out of season or extinct in your area, shrimp or crawfish may be substituted.

Peel and devein the trilobites. Place heads (if you still have them), and peels in a small saucepan and add water. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat and boil slowly for 15-20 minutes. Strain and discard the heads and peels. Retain the stock.

Place the oil in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers and celery and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, peppers, herbs, sugar and trilobite stock and return to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. This is your creole sauce and it can be prepared 1-2 days in advance and stored in the 'fridge. The flavors improve after sitting a couple of days.

When you are ready to serve, return the sauce to a simmer and add the trilobites. Cook until they turn pink, about 7 minutes. Stir in the green onions and parsley and let cook for 1 minute more. Serve on rice.

Recipe by Roy Olsen

More About Trilobites[edit | edit source]

A web resource with a great deal of fascinating information about trilobites was reported in Agatha's Minions' Journal on LiveJournal.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.