May 10, Trilobite Sex

May 10, Trilobite Sex (NY Times Science Section, 5-10-2022)


If Trilobites diddled, what was their technique?

Some Cambrian fossils just gave us a peek.

The Burgess Shale peepers have seen them undressed,

With claspers like crabs have, they’d hang on with zest.


Huge fossil numbers, reproduction’s a fact.

We’ve seen them undressed but caught none in the act.

Fixated, the peepers continue the search,

And, even on Sundays.  (They should be in church.)


They call this search science but are they voyeurs?

Trilobite fossils: which parts “his,” which parts “hers?”

Through Cambrian, Permian, ages of time,

They hope to catch Trilobites right at bedtime.


Back then their right wingers still took a dim view

Of most birth control; Trilobite numbers grew.

Right wingers insisted, “You must fertilize.”

But after their birth, just let them fossilize.