Welcome to readers in Singapore! Props to Singapore for having one of the lowest rates for infant mortality in world, ranked close to places like Japan, Iceland and Sweden. This is even more impressive when you consider that Singapore is actually on the equator, and therefore more at risk of tropical disease than the others.
The fossil is called a trilobite. They are a fairly common type of fossil of a hard shelled sea creature that went extinct about 250 million years ago, which means they were gone before the dinosaurs showed up.
The picture of the living critter is one of the previously unknown species recently found in the waters off Antarctica. It has been classified as an isopod, a family of crustaceans related to shrimps and crabs.
The rough similarity in appearance is most likely completely coincidental, but when I saw the picture I thought about trilobites for the first time in many years. The ocean is a big place with a lot of regions inhospitable to man that are nevertheless teeming with organisms.
And in my deepest ominous announcer voice (think Ted Knight's voiceover work on Super Friends), I close by asking:
What mysteries await us in the cold and briny deep?
p.s. I have a new essay on The Smirking Chimp that has nothing to do with trilobites.