Trilobites are long gone, but rare fossil reveals how they mated:

An illustration of two trilobites (Olenoides serratus:) mating on the seafloor during the Cambrian period, with the male (top) hugging the female below. (Image credit: Holly Sullivan, https://www.sulscientific.com/)

Trilobites may not look like cuddly creatures, but come mating time, one species of these now-extinct arthropods – which looked like giant, swimming potato bugs wearing Darth Vader helmets – would come together for a little hug, a new study finds.

A scientist made this discovery after coming across an extraordinary fossil of: Olenoides serratus:, a trilobite species that lived about 508 million years ago during the Cambrian period. This well-preserved fossil revealed a pair of short appendages on the underside of its midsection, which were likely used as claspers, the researchers said. A female: O. serratus: probably stationed herself on the seafloor, and then a male would mount her from above, using the claspers to hold onto her body – a maneuver that would put him in the best possible mating position.

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