Image of the Day: Fossil Guts

Scientists unearthed an intact, fossilized digestive organ of a 500-million-year-old trilobite—a prehistoric relative of the horseshoe crab.

By | September 25, 2017

The fossilized digestive system of the trilobite Palaeolenus lantenoisi, complete with the stomach structure called a crop (oval region at the top), digestive glands (left and right), and central canal (center), dating back to the early Cambrian period 500 million years ago.© F. CHEN See M.J. Hopkins et al., “The oldest known digestive system consisting of both paired digestive glands and a crop from exceptionally preserved trilobites of the Guanshan Biota (Early Cambrian, China),” PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0184982, 2017.

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