1932

Abstract

Abstract

The good fossil record of trilobite exoskeletal anatomy and ontogeny, coupled with information on their nonbiomineralized tissues, permits analysis of how the trilobite body was organized and developed, and the various evolutionary modifications of such patterning within the group. In several respects trilobite development and form appears comparable with that which may have characterized the ancestor of most or all euarthropods, giving studies of trilobite body organization special relevance in the light of recent advances in the understanding of arthropod evolution and development. The Cambrian diversification of trilobites displayed modifications in the patterning of the trunk region comparable with those seen among the closest relatives of Trilobita. In contrast, the Ordovician diversification of trilobites, although contributing greatly to the overall diversity within the clade, did so within a narrower range of trunk conditions. Trilobite evolution is consistent with an increased premium on effective enrollment and protective strategies, and with an evolutionary trade-off between the flexibility to vary the number of trunk segments and the ability to regionalize portions of the trunk.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.35.031306.140258
2007-05-30
2024-06-25
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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