Devonian Trilobite from Fossil Park

April 17, 2006

Trilobite copy

Provided and copyright by: Tim Martin, Greensboro Day School
Summary authors & editors: Tim Martin

Flip over a rock or log in many locations around the world and you will no doubt see a few grey sow bugs, pill bugs, or “rolly-pollys” scurrying to safety. When disturbed, they curl into small balls as a means of defense. This defensive posture clearly evolved millions of years earlier as seen in the two trilobites pictured above. Both trilobites were found at Fossil Park in Sylvania OH. (See previous EPOD)

The trilobite (Phacops rana), takes its name from the three longitudinal lobes that run down the length of the body. An arthropod, (also insects, crabs, and spiders) the trilobite is among the most complex of the early marine life forms. This important index fossil is noted for an extensive nervous system, and particularly well developed eyes. The compound eye is thought to be the first complex eye in the evolutionary record.

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