Trilobita

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{{Trilobita}}
{{Trilobita}}
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The '''trilobites'' are an extinct class of marine arthropods. By the time true trilobites appear in the fossil record, during the Cambrian, they are already highly diverse and possess two characteristics that likely served them well to survive in the Paleozoic seas, a well- mineralized exoskeleton, and a highly advanced visual system. They particularly flourished during the Cambrian when the peak number of families existed.
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The '''trilobites'' are an extinct class of marine arthropods. By the time true trilobites appear in the fossil record, during the Cambrian, they are already highly diverse and possess two characteristics that likely served them well to survive in the Paleozoic seas, a well- mineralized exoskeleton, and a highly advanced visual system. They particularly flourished during the Cambrian when the peak number of families existed.   
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Class Trilobita left an extensive fossil record spanning the Paleozoic Era, beginning in the Lower Cambrian and extending to the Upper Permian. As the earth’s continental configuration changed markedly due to continental drift, the trilobites that had a mineralized dorsal exoskeleton left exquisitely preserved fossils. As the earth changed and cycled, continents broke apart and drifted, and sea levels rose and fell, the trilobites underwent repeated declines and radiations. The associated adaptations among the trilobites from progenitors to descendents are expressed in their complex exoskeletons and well recorded in the rock record. This record has proved valuable in the study of plate tectonics, and their huge diversity has enabled the trilobite to become an exemplar for modern cladistic analysis.   
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Revision as of 16:25, 4 March 2007

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