Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Exceptional Preservation of the Eye of an Arthropod from the Jurassic

Exceptional preservation of eye structure in arthropod visual predators from the Middle Jurassic. 2016

Zoologists have succeeded in discovering the internal structure of an approximately 160 million year old compound eye of Dollocaris ingens from the Middle Jurassic.
Abstract[edit]: We reconstruct with unprecedented resolution the three-dimensional structure of the huge compound eye of a 160-million-year-old thylacocephalan arthropod from the La Voulte exceptional fossil biota in SE France.

This arthropod had about 18,000 lenses on each eye, which is a record among extinct and extant arthropods and is surpassed only by modern dragonflies.

Combined information about its eyes, internal organs and gut contents obtained by X-ray microtomography lead to the conclusion that this thylacocephalan arthropod was a visual hunter probably adapted to illuminated environments, thus contradicting the hypothesis that La Voulte was a deep-water environment.

Read more about it at Earth Archives