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Trilobites

Trilobites are an ancient extinct class of marine arthropods that teemed in the Paleozoic seas for over 350 million years, from the early Cambrian Period into the Permian Period. The word “trilobite” (pronounced “TRY-LO-BITE”) refers to the three lobes or lengthwise divisions of the body. Thousands of species of trilobites have been described from the calcified exoskeletons left as fossils. Rare specimens with preserved soft parts show that trilobites had antennae, head appendages, and numerous legs. Although some trilobites were blind, others had well- developed compound eyes. Most trilobites lived on the sea floor or burrowed in muds. Some may have been free- swimming. Trilobites molted their exoskeletons as they grew, leaving many fossils for scientists and collectors to appreciate and study.

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