Billions of Trilobites Having an Orgy -- And the Deeper Meaning
We have found billions (and billions) of trilobite fossils, but have not found a single trilobite ancestor. We have found 17,000 trilobite species, and we keep finding more trilobite species all the time, but not a single trilobite ancestor species. Why has the fossil record been so generous with trilobites, but not its ancestors? Why does the fossil record show a clear pattern of trilobite success for 270 million years, but show us none of the purported ancestors that must have led to such success if Darwinian evolution is to explain their origin? It strains credulity to believe that a long line of ancestors lived but did not leave behind a single fossil.
Orgies of sometimes billions of trilobites have been discovered, ones captured in a torrent of mud right after these extinct creatures ditched their hard shells to get up close and personal.
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Trilobites are extinct distant relatives of lobsters, spiders and insects that died off more than 250 million years ago, before the dinosaurs even came into existence. They prowled the seas for roughly 270 million years, longer than the Age of Dinosaurs, and new species of trilobites are unearthed every year, making them the single most diverse class of extinct life known.
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"We find trilobite beds that we can trace across distances of 80 miles (130 kilometers), all the effect of a single event," Brett said. "The numbers of individuals caught in those must easily be in the billions. These were probably extraordinarily rare events in terms of human scales, but on the grand scale of geological time, you can have a number of these extraordinarily bad days that record these amazing glimpses into what the lives of ancient organisms were like."