It lived on Earth nearly four hundred million years ago trilobita (also known as the three-lobed primordial crab) fossil has proven that the animal once had hundreds of visual organs, a hyperspace never seen before in the animal kingdom.

The fossil was found in extremely good condition in the 1970s were subjected to for an X-ray examination first, by Wilhelm Stürmer, a radiologist and amateur paleontologist at Siemens. Thin fibers were discovered under the eyes in the images obtained by the examination, which are considered to be the best quality of the technique of the age. Stürmer concluded that there may be optic nerves, and the part under the animal’s eyes is made up of facets, with small-area photoreceptors forming a complex eye – similar to how the flies’ eyesight is made up of tiny hexagons. Stürmer and his colleague Jan Bergström In 1973 he presented his hypothesis it was not accepted by the scientific medium for forty years because it was believed that soft parts of the body, such as the nerves, could not be petrified. Critics of Stürmer said the man probably confused the gill fibers with the optic nerve tissues. Now, however, re-examining the fossil with modern technique, it turned out that the amateur paleontologist who died in 1986 was not mistaken.

In Scientific Reports on September 30th published according to a study, the eyes of an animal belonging to the order Phacopids had hundreds of lenses, their own neural network, and several optic nerves to process and transmit sensed signals.

The researchers said both the left and right eyes contained two hundred to two hundred lenses, up to a millimeter,

which were much farther apart than, for example, in the eyes of flies or dragonflies with similar complex eyes that are still alive today.

The strange hypersonic of the trilobite may have evolved in order to best adapt to the dark habitat. This species lived on the seabed and fed on other small animals. With the help of an extremely complex visual organ, the animal may have been much more sensitive to light than its companions 521–252 million years ago. Thus, he detected the movement of the prey faster and more accurately, and more easily escaped from predators endangering his life. The researchers they see a chance also that some parts of the hyper eye performed different functions, e.g., some lenses were responsible only for better contrast.

The three-lobed ancient crabs appeared on Earth in the second period of the Cambrian period, their heyday lived in the early Paleozoic times. Almost all of their orders disappeared during the late Devonian extinction, their last species 252 million years ago. Extremely many of the remains of the animals have survived, thanks to the limestone in good condition, a total of 17,000 species are known, but there are still unanswered questions about their physiology and evolutionary line.

(Cover image: The trilobites fossil remains. Photo: iStockphoto / Getty Images)

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