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September 26 2013

How Cute! Trilobites Curled Up in Self-Defense

About 513 million years ago, a creature curled up like a pill bug to protect itself from predators, a recently-discovered fossil suggests.

The new discovery is the oldest evidence that trilobites rolled up in self-defense so early in their evolutionary history.

"Until now, it was thought that this group was incapable of enrolling, as they lack various of the complex adaptations observed in younger trilobites," study co-author Javier Ortega-Hernández, a paleobiologist at the University of Cambridge in England, wrote in an email.

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