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Half-billion-year-old fossil reveals what ancient eyes looked like

A half-billion-year-old fossil contains what’s probably the oldest record of the visual system, scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Unearthed in Estonia, the well-preserved trilobite was found with part of its right eye worn away, revealing the early eye’s internal, sensory structures, BBC reports. Bees and dragonflies living today have a similar eye structure to the relic’s with one notable exception: The fossil lacks a lens common to modern eyes. That suggests compound eyes remain relatively unchanged in more than 500 million years. 

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