It’s Trilobite Tuesday! One of the most fascinating aspects of these arresting arthropods are their eyes. Indeed, trilobites were the earliest known life forms with compound eyes—eyes with multiple lenses. By the Middle Devonian (380 million years ago), the ocular systems of trilobites had evolved into amazing morphological features. The eyes of this Erbenochile from Morocco feature turret-like extensions with hundreds of separate calcite lenses.

Ready for more trilobites? Click here!

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A couple more prehistoric skull vectors. We’ve got 2 more extinct mammals tonight for everyone playing along at home. I know we had a little trouble last time with the mammal representative of the group but figured both of these are so specialized looking that it might be easier, and i’ll give you a clue. Only one of these is placental. #skull #vector #digital #digitalart #dailydigital #prehistoric #fossil #bones #mammals #extinct #art #arte #illustrator #adobe #artistoninstagram #killustrator #paleontology #extinctanimal #notadinosaur #marsupial #instaartsy #instadaily #animals #vectorart #paleoart

New research shows that the fearsome teeth of the saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis grew at a rate about double that of their living relatives, but still took years to fully emerge. The findings, published today in the journal PLOS ONE and based on a new technique that combines isotopic analysis and x-ray imaging, for the first time provide specific ages for developmental events in Smilodon, notably in their teeth. 

The study estimates that the eruption rate of S. fatalis’s permanent upper canines was 6 millimeters per month—double the growth rate of an African lion’s teeth. But the extinct cat’s dagger-like canines weren’t fully developed until about three years of age.

“For predators such as big cats, an important determinant of an individual’s full hunting ability is the time required to grow their weapons—their teeth,” said Z. Jack Tseng, a National Science Foundation and Frick Postdoctoral Fellow in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Paleontology and a coauthor on the new paper. “This is especially crucial for understanding sabertoothed predators such as Smilodon.”

Read more on the Museum blog. 

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Courtney of @abysspiercing absolutely killin it in these fossilized Russian ammonite chunks with our super comfy #spreaderhooks. #diablodames #ammonite #druzy #fossil #fossils #legitbodyjewelry #acceptnoimitations #diabloorganics #hitupyourpiercer #jimmybuddhadesigns #icanteven #girlswithstretchedears


Pappochelys: New Turtle Ancestor Discovered in Germany


A team of paleontologists has discovered a new species of turtle-like reptile that lived in what is now Germany during the Middle Triassic period, approximately 240 million years ago. According to the team, this extinct creature, named Pappochelys, is a missing link in the evolutionary history of turtles.

“The mystery of how the turtle got its shell has been a long-standing question in evolutionary biology. In the case of Pappochelys, we see that its belly was protected by an array of rod-like bones, some of which are already fused to each other,” said team member Dr Hans-Dieter Sues of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

“Such a stage in the evolution of the turtle shell had long been predicted by embryological research on present-day turtles but had never been observed in fossils – until now.”

Continue Reading.


Video: We found its head!

For years, scientists thought that a dark, balloon-shaped mark on fossils of a spiny wormlike creature were its head. Instead, it’s preserved “decay liquids,” squeezed out of the creature’s guts during the fossilization process. This isn’t the first time the 508-million-year-old worm, known as Hallucigenia (seen walking in the video reconstruction above), has given scientists the squirm-around. When the enigmatic animal was described in the 1970s, some of its flexible legs were still hidden by layers of rock on the fossil, leading scientists to conclude that the worm walked on its pairs of stiff spines like stilts. Now, using an electron microscope and new fossils discovered in the Burgess Shale in Canada, researchers have finally been able to make heads and tails of the creature, they report today in Nature.

Caption: Reconstruction of Hallucigenia’s walking gait.
Credit: Lars Fields

4 more prehistoric skull vectors, up to 16 of them now, got some plans coming up for them but I ain’t saying nothin yet. Who knows which animals these are? Feel free to shout them out. #prehistoric #skull #dinosaurs #mammal #animal #vector #bone #digital #fossil #killustrator #astoryinstone #guesswhat #lifeonearth #illustrator #adobe #vectorart #artwork #digitalart #paleontology #paleoart #instadaily #predators