Fabulous fossil preserves eyes of 429-million-year-old trilobite

Fossil of a prehistoric arthropod.

Enlarge / Do not suppose you may pull one over on this trilobite—he is nonetheless acquired one good eye, ya know. (credit score: Brigitte Schoenemann)

Amongst fossils, trilobites are rock stars. They’re cute (as stony arthropods go), with a segmented form distinctive sufficient to be a typical brand. However they’re additionally fascinating as a result of there are such a lot of examples within the fossil file over such a protracted time frame, provided that they thrived for over 250 million years. Finding out their evolution is enlightening partially as a result of odds are good for locating wonderful specimens.

The College of Cologne’s Brigitte Schoenemann and the College of Edinburgh’s Euan Clarkson took a glance into the eyes of 1 exquisitely preserved trilobite specimen, and so they discovered loads about how the creature’s eyes developed and what that claims about evolution. And, as a bonus, they conclude that this explicit trilobite species was most likely translucent.

An actual lens

The fossil in query comes from 429-million-year-old sedimentary rocks within the Czech Republic. It’s a centimeter-long trilobite known as Aulacopleura koninckii that cut up in half because the rock layer was peeled aside. The form of the buildings in certainly one of its two eyes is properly seen, with bits cut up between the 2 halves.

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