Researchers discover 515-million-year-old trilobite fossils in Morocco

Researchers discover 515-million-year-old trilobite fossils in Morocco

Researchers from the French University of Poitiers have uncovered two new species of trilobites in Morocco. 

According to the Moroccan News Agency (MAP) the ancient arthropods were in “exceptionally well-preserved” condition when found within layers of volcanic ash at Ait Youb in the Souss Massa region.

Trilobites are extinct marine arthropods that lived over 500 million years ago.

According to a statement from the scientific team led by Professor Abderrazak El Albani, the findings highlight the significant role of underwater volcanic ash deposits in fossil preservation.

“This discovery demonstrates for the first time the crucial role of underwater deposits of volcanic ash in the preservation of fossils and the importance of exploring volcanic underwater environments,” El Albani said.

The findings show that high-resolution X-ray micro-computed tomography, a non-destructive imaging technique, is a powerful tool for observing 3D fossilized objects in very hard rocks without risk of alteration.

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