An exceptional, 530 million years old fossil contains probably the oldest eye ever discovered, archaeologists say.
Remnants of the extinct sea creature contain a primitive form of an eye that can be found today in crabs, bees, or dragonflies.
Experts discovered it by analyzing the well-preserved remains of trilobite found in Estonia.
These ancestors of spiders and crustaceans lived in the seas in the Paleozoic period, 541 to 251 million years ago.
Archaeologists have confirmed that the ancient creature had a primitive form of a composite eye, an optical organ consisting of a tiny cell known as omatidia, similar to those of today’s bees.
– This fossil shows us how the previous animals saw the world around. What is remarkable is that it reveals that the structure and function of the eye have not changed nearly in the last 500 million years, says Professor Eugene Clarkson of the University of Edinburgh.