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These animals breathed with their legs!

American and Indian scientists found that they breathed oxygen from the legs, the most typical ocean-like mammal of millions of years ago.

These creatures, who emerged 570 million years ago, had long dominated the seas and died away about 270 million years ago.

The trilobites were so abundant not just in their genus but even in their numbers that, even nowadays, the fossil record retains much of the remains.

While trilobites belonged to Arthropoda Phylum, to which all modern insects belong, they have not yet been treated as "insects."

They could range from 1 millimeter to 700 millimeters together with hundreds of legs, stiff shells, and dismembered bodies. The average trilobite weight, however, was 50 to 60 mm.

Scientists at the University of California (Riverside), the US Museum of Natural History (New York), and the Indian Statistical Institute (Kolkata) reported in an online study published in the most recent issue of the Science Advances online research paper that trilobite-fossils have been more closely than ever observed using the computerized tomography approach (CT).

The 3D and extremely accurate (high-resolute) photographs of trilobite fossils were obtained from the CT scanner which could demonstrate paying characteristics as thin as 10 to 30 microns.

The average human hair thickness is 70 microns in contrast. In other words, the images seen using the CT scan are 7 times thinner!

When studying Trilobites with the same images (CT scans), the scientists found the upper parts of their legs to have microscopic dumbbell fibers which looked like existing fish gilling.

After further research and study, experts concluded that trilobites consume oxygen in the water by using the same fibers on their bodies, i.e. by breathing.

This discovery is not only fascinating but also significant to us in that it helps us understand the development of the respiratory system, in particular the gallbladder, in marine animals.

Moreover, careful 3D machine scanning will aid us in several potential research projects.
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