Trilobites had a Hidden Third Eye: New Fossils Reveal
Trilobites, the extinct marine arthropods that lived hundreds of millions of years ago, were already known for their complex eyes, but a recent discovery has revealed that they also possessed a hidden third eye. This discovery sheds new light on the evolution of these fascinating creatures and their incredible visual abilities.
The new fossils were discovered in a quarry in Morocco and belong to a species called Schmidtiellus reetae. The researchers found that this species had a small, median eye that was located in the center of its head, between the two large compound eyes that are characteristic of trilobites.Also Read:
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According to one of the researchers, this third eye was probably used to detect changes in light intensity and direction, which would have helped the trilobite navigate and orient itself in its environment. This is particularly important because trilobites lived in a world that was very different from ours, with much lower light levels and a different distribution of light sources.
The discovery of this third eye is particularly exciting because it shows that trilobites were even more visually sophisticated than previously thought. Trilobites are already known for having some of the most complex eyes of any animal, with multiple lenses that allowed them to see in many different directions at once. This new discovery suggests that trilobites may have also been able to perceive changes in light that were too subtle for their compound eyes to detect.
The discovery of this third eye also has important implications for our understanding of the evolution of vision. Trilobites lived during the Cambrian period, which was a time of explosive diversification of life forms and the origin of many of the major groups of animals that still exist today. The fact that trilobites had such sophisticated eyes and were able to perceive changes in light in such a sophisticated way suggests that the evolution of vision was already well underway at this early stage of animal evolution.
So, the discovery of a hidden third eye in trilobites is a fascinating insight into the visual abilities of these extinct creatures. It suggests that trilobites were even more visually sophisticated than previously thought and sheds new light on the evolution of vision during the Cambrian period. With more fossils being discovered all the time, we can expect to learn even more about the incredible creatures that once roamed the Earth.Read More:
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