Trilobita (Trilobites)


Trilobites are extinct marine arthropods in which the body is divided transversely into a head (cephalon), a thorax of articulated segments, and a tail (pygidium). The body is also divided longitudinally into a raised axis and two lateral lobes. Mature individuals range from about 1 mm in length to 700 mm.

Keywords: trilobites; basic design; life histories; diversity and habits; phylogeny

Figure 1.

Acaste downingiae, Silurian, England: (a) dorsal surface; (b) ventral surface; (c) side view in natural life position; (d) enrolled specimen.


Further Reading

Clarkson ENK (1998) Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution, 4th edn, chap. 11: Arthropoda. Oxford: Blackwell Science. [An illustrated textbook]

Lebrun P (1995) Trilobites. Mineraux et Fossiles. Paris: Éditions CEDIM. [In French, colour plates]

Levi‐Setti R (1993) Trilobites. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Photographic atlas, 229 plates]

Whittington HB (1992) Fossils Illustrated: Trilobites. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. [Photographic atlas, 120 plates]

Whittington HB et al. (1997) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, part O, Arthropoda 1, Trilobita, revised, vol. 1. Lawrence, Kansas: Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press. [Standard reference work; this updates the former one‐volume Treatise of 1959. Volumes 2 and 3 are in preparation].

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How to Cite close
Clarkson, Euan NK(May 2001) Trilobita (Trilobites). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001604]