Burgess Shale

related topics
{specie, animal, plant}
{island, water, area}
{work, book, publish}
{theory, work, human}
{son, year, death}
{acid, form, water}
{town, population, incorporate}

 v  d  e taskforce

 v  d  e taskforce

The Burgess Shale Formation, located in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, is one of the world's most celebrated fossil fields,[2] and the best of its kind.[3] It is famous for the exceptional preservation of the soft parts of its fossils. At 505 million years (Middle Cambrian) old[4] it is one of the earliest fossil beds containing the imprints of soft-parts.

The rock unit is a black shale, and crops out at a number of localities near the town of Field in the Yoho National Park.

Contents

History and significance

The Burgess Shale was discovered by palaeontologist Charles Walcott in 1909, towards the end of the season's fieldwork.[5] He returned in 1910 with his sons, daughter, and wife, establishing a quarry on the flanks of Fossil Ridge. The significance of soft-bodied preservation, and the range of organisms he recognised as new to science, led him to return to the quarry almost every year until 1924. At this point, aged 74, he had amassed over 65,000 specimens. Describing the fossils was a vast task, pursued by Walcott until his death in 1927.[5] Walcott, led by scientific opinion at the time, attempted to categorise all fossils into living taxa, and as a result, the fossils were regarded as little more than curiosities at the time. It was not until 1962 that a first-hand reinvestigation of the fossils was attempted, by Alberto Simonetta. This led scientists to recognise that Walcott had barely scratched the surface of information available in the Burgess Shale, and also made it clear that the organisms did not fit comfortably into modern groups.

Full article ▸

related documents
Crinoid
Invertebrate
Sea butterfly
Indriidae
Little Penguin
Cornish Rex
Amblypoda
Tetraodontiformes
Multituberculata
Oscar (fish)
Auk
Somali (cat)
Conodont
Rook (bird)
Loon
Sex-determination system
Treeshrew
Sighthound
Pansy
Philippine Eagle
Common Chimpanzee
Lark
White-throated Dipper
Orrorin tugenensis
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Chipmunk
Forensic palynology
Poaceae
Puffin
Nemertea