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Giant Trilobites And Trilobite Clusters From The Ordovician Of Portugal

Date:
May 5, 2009
Source:
The Geological Society of America
Summary:
Fossils from 465 million years ago recently discovered in Portugal have revealed the huge size reached by trilobites, the most diverse group of extinct marine arthropods. Geologists describe the largest trilobites ever found, which, in life, would have reached up to 90 centimeters (35 inches).

Fossils from 465 million years ago recently discovered in Portugal have revealed the huge size reached by trilobites, the most diverse group of extinct marine arthropods. Gutierrez-Marco et al. describe the largest trilobites ever found, which, in life, would have reached up to 90 centimeters (35 inches).

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This remarkable record suggests evidence of polar gigantism in an area of Gondwana close to the South Pole during the Ordovician. The Portuguese trilobites also show an astounding array of behavioral clustering -- with some patches reaching groups of over a thousand specimens -- revealing a very diverse social conduct, including hiding from predators and sexual aggregations.

This could have played a major role in the undisputed success of this group through the Paleozoic Era. The original discovery site and its fossils are one of the main attractions of the recently established Arouca Geopark in northern Portugal.

This study, "Giant trilobites and trilobite clusters from the Ordovician of Portugal," by Juan C. Gutierrez-Marco et. al. was published in the May 2009 edition of Geology.


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The above story is based on materials provided by The Geological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Geological Society of America. "Giant Trilobites And Trilobite Clusters From The Ordovician Of Portugal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505072714.htm>.
The Geological Society of America. (2009, May 5). Giant Trilobites And Trilobite Clusters From The Ordovician Of Portugal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505072714.htm
The Geological Society of America. "Giant Trilobites And Trilobite Clusters From The Ordovician Of Portugal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505072714.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

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