Why did the ancient inhabitants of the seas line up?

Each of us saw what was happening on the streets at an o'clockpeak - the roads are crowded with cars standing behind each other, and huge lines are being built in stores for groceries. You will not believe it, but about the same thing happened at the bottom of the seas millions of years ago. The fact is that scientists from all over the world have many times found the remains of lined up in one row of ancient arthropod creatures called trilobites. However, they still have not been able to give an exact answer about the purpose of these long lines. Fortunately, an explanation has already been found - the ancient creatures did not stand in line, but performed a vital action for them.

So millions of years ago it looked like a line of trilobites

Ancient trilobite creatures inhabited ourplanet about 480 million years ago, in the so-called Paleozoic era. They were discovered in 1771 by the German scientist Johann Walch and received such an unusual name because of a three-body body (Trilobita from Latin translates as “three-parted”). Their whole body was built exclusively for life at the bottom of the seas - their eyes were located on top, and their mouth and legs were hidden under a powerful shell.

Most trilobites looked something like this.

The life of ancient creatures

As mentioned above, scientists from different pointsThe world often found the remains of these creatures lined up in a queue. One of the latest finds was made in the North African country of Morocco. Scientists from several countries took up the study of the fossil at once, and they noticed that there was not a single cub in the lined line - the line consisted exclusively of adults. Surprisingly, they all looked in the same direction.

Millions of years ago, the lines looked something like this

Previously, scientists assumed that such lines fromtrilobites did not line up on purpose. One theory said that ancient creatures lined up under the influence of strong currents of water and died while being buried under earthen rocks. But if this theory were true, among the creatures lined up there would be cubs, and many of them would be located sideways or backward. However, in reality they all look strictly in one direction.

You can read about the death of trilobites in our material about the volcanic apocalypse.

By the way, among scientists was another populartheory. It was believed that in a row trilobites entered their burrows. However, no signs of ancient burrows at the age of millions of years were found in the places where fossils were discovered. Consequently, the second theory is also outdated and is hardly true.

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Why do animals line up?

But the third assumption put forward duringThe study of fossils from Morocco and described in the journal Science, sounds very interesting and believable. Now scientists believe that adult trilobites could well be built in lines while traveling long distances. They could make such trips for the sake of saving from storms or finding a good place for mating and breeding offspring.

They ran away from the storms and did the right thing - some of the disasters raise waves up to 17 meters high

Indeed, lining up thesecreatures were less likely to get lost and experienced less water resistance when moving. The fact is that in front and behind the bodies of these arthropods there were a pair of rather long spines, with which they could follow the relatives and help keep the path for those who crawl behind. Do you think that this feature of the trilobite organism is not enough to prove this hypothesis? There is another interesting fact.

Prickly spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) have similar spikes.

The fact is that today in much the same wayspiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) move. They are remotely, but still look like trilobites and also line up in columns to move to a safe place during storms. As a rule, such movements occur in the winter season, when it is important for these creatures to descend as deep as possible to the bottom of the seas and oceans.