Fossil trilobite (Mrakibina cattoi) from the middle Devonian period (approximately 370 million years ago), found in the Hamar Laghdad formation, Morocco. The prominent spines probably provided the trilobite with increased surface area without extra weight and may also have been used for defence. The trilobites are an extinct group of marine arthropods, which were distributed throughout the prehistoric oceans. Most trilobites lived on the sea bottom, although some burrowed in sediment and a few were swimmers. They first appeared during the Cambrian period (570 to 510 m.y.) and flourished for more than 200 million years, becoming extinct during the Permian period.
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