SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Trilobite. A well-preserved fossil trilobite. The dorsal exoskeleton of the trilobite is clearly visible as ridges running across the top of the fossil. This is divided into three parts by longitudinal furrows. The head (at top) has the eyes of the animal (not clearly differentiated here). The trilobites are an extinct group of once common marine arthropods. They existed from the Cambrian to the Permian geological eras (from 590 to 286 million years ago). Most species are thought to have lived on the sea floor like modern day crabs. Their flexible backs allowed them to roll up into a tight ball when being attacked by predators.
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