Sun May 06 2007 18:05:
I'm reading Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution (exclamation not in original), possibly Newt Gingrich's favorite book about trilobites. It is excellent in general but I wanted to spotlight two things. First, trilobite eyes were made of crystalline calcium carbonate, and were molted along with the rest of the exoskeleton! No wonder their gazes appear so stony. Second, this anecdote about a Swedish trilobitist:
Tjernvik was in his eighties when I visited Sweden. His English was remarkably fluent: he had learned much of his use of the idioms from the novels of P.G. Wodehouse, and the result was charmingly anachronistic. When a particularly fine Megitaspis turned up he would say, "absolutely top hole, old bean!" If he wished to impart some important item of information it would be, "can I have a word in your shell-like?" At the end of the day: "Toodle-pip, old boy!"