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Redlichiida

An order within the major extinct arthropod class Trilobita. The Redlichids are one of the four older classes of trilobita that originated in the Early Cambrian. The earliest known trilobite seems to be the genus Fallotopsis which is a Redlichid. Redlichids look primitive. They typically have a large, semicircular cephalon[?] and a thorax[?] with a goodly number of segments that tapers back to a small pygidium[?]. Unlike many orders of trilobite the Redlichids were probably not capable of defensive enrollment. The Redlichids generally have prominent, long, crescent shaped eyes. The Redlichids are often quite spiny with genal, and/or glabular, and/or tail, and/or segment spines. One Redlichid family, the Olenellids, typically have long spines on the third thoracic segment.

The Redlichids are divided into three suborders. The Olenellids are found in North America and associated areas that comprised the Cambrian continent of Laurentia[?]. They are very common and are used to define the scope of Laurentia[?]. Their abrupt disappearance marks the Lower-Middle Cambrian boundary in areas where the Olenellids are found. Olenellids do not have a facial suture. Redlichids are associated with Cambrian regions other than Laurentia[?]. They have facial sutures and their remains are frequently found without their 'free cheeks'. The relatively uncommon Bathynotids had facial sutures, long genal spines, and long spines on the final thoracic segment. The Redlichids died out before the end of the Middle Cambrian.

The appendages have been preserved in a few specimens. They follow typical trilobite patterns in terms of the number, placement, and types of legs, antennae, gills, etc.

Redlichid Trilobites are the first arthropods to appear in the fossil record. They are common fossils in Lower Cambrian faunas worldwide.



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