The History Before History, Part I
"If you see centimeter-scale organisms and then don't see them for 400 million years, you have a lot to explain,"
- Andrew Knoll, Harvard University paleontologist
Antelope Spring, Utah - Approximately 320 million years ago, a species of small lobed creatures began to populate Earth's seas. These relatives of sea arachnids—similar to lobsters and crabs—once flourished but became completely extinct 280 million years ago. We are talking, of course, about the trilobite.
In June of 1968, amateur fossil collector William J. Meister found a rock 2 inches thick in Antelope Spring, Utah. With a blow of his hammer, he exposed the fossil of a human footprint. But this footprint had a special feature—a squashed trilobite.