Trilobite fossil

Trilobite fossil

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Trilobite fossil. Fossil of the trilobite Onnia cobboldii. This trilobite lived during the Ordovician period (around 505-440 million years ago). It was distributed over regions now covered by the land masses of Europe, South America and northern Africa. Trilobites are extinct marine arthropods with a hard, segmented shell that is divided into 3 sections. O. cobboldii possessed an unusual body plan: it was very short, with only 5-7 segments forming the thorax. On the head, the cheeks (top left and right) tapered into long, slender spines (only one preserved, lower right) which kept the animal stable when it moved.

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Keywords: ancient, animal, animals, arthropodan, cheeks, extinct, fossil, fossil invertebrate, fossilised, fossils, geology, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, old, onnia cobboldii, ordovician, palaeontology, paleontology, preserved, rock, segmented, segments, shell, short, single, solitary, spike, spiky, spine, spiny, stone, trilobite, zoology

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