morphology of fossils

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Ecdysis

  • the exoskeleton couldn't grow but at various times would be shed, a process called ecdysis.
  • the exoskeleton fractured along lines of weakness, such as the facial suture.
  • facial suture: this seperated the fixed cheek from the free cheek along the visual surface of the eye.
  • the animal was then able to free itself.
  • after there would have been a period of rapid growth, before the new exoskeleton was completely formed.
  • ecdysis left the animal vulberable to predators as the skeleton was temporaryily flexible to allow stretching to accomodate a larger animal.
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