Fossiled trilobites

Fossiled trilobites

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This image is part of the feature Burgess Shale Centenary

Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fossilised trilobites. This particular species of trilobite is Asaphus punctatus. It represents an intermediate evolutionary stage showing the start of the lengthening of the eye stalks. Trilobites were marine arthropods and were common throughout the world's oceans for millions of years. Most species are thought to have lived on the sea floor in the same way as modern crabs do. Their large eyes helped them to see in the darkness of the seabed. Their flexible backs allowed them to roll up into a tight ball if attacked by predators. They became extinct 65 million years ago at about the same time as the dinosaurs. The specimens in this image have a length of 65mm.

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Keywords: animal, animals, arthropod, asaphus punctatus, cambrian, devonian, extinct, fauna, fossil, fossil invertebrate, fossils, invertebrates, marine, marine-life, palaeontology, paleontology, permian, prehistory, preserved, rock, shell, shells, stone, trilobite, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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