Armoured through the ages
With their large head shields, manifold legs and often spiny exoskeletons, trilobites resemble few, if any, animals alive today. Like all arthropods, they have jointed appendages and an exoskeleton. This display shows the fossil and its negative imprint of one of the largest trilobites, Paradoxides. Trilobites such as the specimen here were part of the sudden radiation of hard-shelled life forms that emerged during the Cambrian Period approximately 542 million years ago, known as the Cambrian Explosion. From the fossil record, a stunning array of unusual and surprisingly well-preserved life forms originated during this period which included species belonging to most of the major animal phyla known today.