Trilobite - Flexicalymene Rolled Trilobite (No.23)

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Trilobite - Flexicalymene Rolled Trilobite (No.23)Flexicalymene Trilobite

From Atlas Mountains, Morocco, approximately 450 Million Years old, Late Ordovician period.

This Trilobite is in a rolled position, Trilobites rolled into a ball for protection from predators.

The name ‘Trilobite” means " three lobes” and they are one of the earliest known groups of arthropods ( animals with an exoskeleton ),  bottom dwelling sea creatures related to the modern day horse-shoe crab, their segmented hard exoskeleton body enabled them to roll up. (similar to Armadillos today). The Trilobites were amongst the most successful of all early animals, roaming the oceans for over 270 million years, being highly diversified and geographically dispersed, with 17,000 species of trilobites having been identified world wide, this diverse group of extinct arthropods were one of the first living creatures to develop compound eyes.

The Paleozoic Era is often called the age of the Trilobite. Trilobites particularly flourished in the oceans of the Cambrian and Ordovician periods, beginning around 540 million years ago. They were vulnerable to climatic change and during the Devonian period all Trilobite orders died out except the Protida which also disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Permian about 250 million years ago.