515 million years ago there was a marine creature that could see in the dark thanks to this eye. The complexity of this organ, which counted with 3000 lenses, is extremely surprising. As palaeontologist Dr Jim Gehling describes:
There’s about 3000 little lenses all lined up with larger ones in the centre and smaller ones to the periphery. The only animals that we know of today that do that are arthropods, things like crayfish and crabs and your regular house flies. This is a creature which probably had quite good vision for a marine creature.
At the time, most creatures had very basic vision organs. This is the first time that something so complex has been discovered. Apparently, it may be one of the “greatest fossils finds” of our time.
They were found along with six other similar specimens on Kangaroo Island by South Australian Museum’s paleontologist Dr Jim Gehling and Dr Jim Jago. [ABC.net.au]