Burgess shale


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Related to Burgess shale: Cambrian Explosion

Burgess shale

500 million year-old fossil-bearing strata discovered in the Canadian Rockies by the American palaeontologist Charles Walcott. The fossils are extremely well preserved and many have no relationships with present day organisms. Collectively, the fossils show an explosion of early life in which the variety of body forms exceeds that of the whole of the present day animal kingdom. Most are now extinct but others have close relationships with organisms which gave rise to present day forms.
References in periodicals archive ?
Even the fossils of the now famous Burgess Shale and similar units were as yet undiscovered.
The new site, which is also in the Burgess Shale formation, seems to rival the 1909 original in fossil diversity and preservation and the research team collected more than 3,000 fossils representing 55 species, out of which 15 of these species are new to science, CBS News reported.
Like the celebrated Burgess Shale of British Columbia, the Mount Cap contains carbonaceous compression fossils of animals that lacked mineralized hard parts, as well as the fully articulated skeletons of shelly taxa.
Charles Walcott, a paleontologist and former secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, discovered the Burgess Shale formation in the Canadian Rockies, where fossils proved that there was life in the area more than 550 million years ago, an important 20th-century finding.
Other great Canadian stories, such as the history of the late Precambrian between 750 and 550 million years ago (Snowball Earth, the Ediacaran fauna at Mistaken Point, Newfoundland) and the Burgess Shale are told piecemeal, and fail to bring out the force of new research.
The very important fossil deposit known as the Burgess Shale exhibits preservation styles and patterns that might be explained by presence of brine.
There, high up on a mountain ridge, is a small limestone quarry called the Burgess Shale. Believe it or not, this quarry holds the fossil remains of ancient sea creatures that lived over half a billion years ago!
In his 1989 bestseller, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, for example, Gould used the work of Simon Conway Morris, H.
Except for mandibles, onychophoran bodies are soft and unlikely to fossilize, but special conditions led to the fossilitation of several specimens (Monge-Najera and Hou 2000), mainly in Chengjiang (China) and Burgess Shale (Canada), where they were marine during the Cambrian (all known living species are terrestrial and their continental distribution has been studied paleobiogeographically, MongeNajera 1996).
(Nor is Calculating God a pro-Christian book: its semi-comic villains are a pair of biblical literalists who want to destroy the Burgess Shale fossils because they consider evolution the devil's theory.) Sawyer comes down hard for a worldview that includes both evolution and a cosmic designer with big, if vague, plans for us.
Whittington's work on multicellular animals was documented after he studied the fauna of the so-called Burgess Shale found in Rocky Mountains in Canada.