Soft Parts of Trilobites – #365papers – 2017 – 11

#365papers for January 11, 2017

Gutierrez-Marco, Garcia-Bellido, Rabano, and Sa, 2017, Digestive and appendicular soft-parts, with behavioural implications, in a large Ordovician trilobite from the Fezouata Lagerstatte, Morocco: Nature Scientific Reports.

What’s it about?

This paper discusses a the discovery of fossil trilobites that appear to preserve evidence of soft parts, in particular, part of the gut and of the legs.

Why does it matter?

Firstly, soft parts are extraordinarily rare in the fossil record, so any time they’re preserved it’s important. Secondly, some of the structures noted on the legs of these trilobites helps explain some of the marks in fossil trackways made by trilobites.

Why did I read this?

This is another paper I chose trying to find something of interest for my course this semester. Trilobites are hard to know in the fossil record because usually only their external skeletons are preserved. I thought this might be of interest to the class.

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