Everything Dinosaur Team members Prepare for the Ordovician

The Everything Dinosaur Trilobite hunt is definitely going ahead.  Plans have been made and everything is organised in preparation for tomorrow’s trip into deepest Wales in search of Trilobites.  Trilobites are an extinct group of super-abundant Palaeozoic marine Arthropods with distinct three-fold division of their bodies.  The exoskeletons of these animals, just like spiders and crabs, had to be shed to let the occupants grow.  They readily fossilise providiing an excellent record of Trilobites in all their shapes and forms.

The Ordovician Period lasted from approximately 495 million years ago to around 443 million years ago.  Life was still very much concentrated in marine environments where the Arthropods dominated but the first animals with true backbones had begun to evolve. Most life was small, less than one centimetre in size, but an exception to this were the Trilobites that had already evolved into many hundreds of different species, some of which were much, much bigger than other animals that shared their marine environments.  Many vertebrate palaeontologists have a soft-spot for Trilobites, the global distribution of Trilobite fossils has helped scientists reconstruct the position of the Earth’s tectonic plates as well as to aid in dating the stratigraphic column (rock strata).

An Illustration of a Trilobite (Trilobite Fossils)

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This geological period was named after the Romano-British hill tribe the Ordovices by schoolmaster and part-time geologist Charles Lapworth.

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