Sat. May 21st, 2022

A phacopid trilobite with hyper-complex eyes. (Photo credit: Brigette Schoenemann)

The humble trilobite, a helmet-headed creature that swam in the ocean hundreds of millions of years ago, hid an extraordinary secret — a “hyper-eye” never seen before in the animal kingdom.

By examining x-rays, researchers found that certain species of trilobite-extinct arthropods distantly related to horseshoe crabs-had “hyper compound eyes” complete with hundreds of lenses, their own neural network for processing and transmitting signals, and multiple optic nerves, according to new research published September 30 in the journal Scientific reports.

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