SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fossil trilobite, Lloydolithus lloydi (Murchison), from the Ordovician period (500 to 435 million years ago), found in the Meadowtown beds, Betton, Shropshire, UK. This specimen is unusually well preserved as the upper lamellar surface is still present. 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 before disappearing from the fossil record during the Permian period (280 to 230 m.y.).
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