The new site is also in the Burgess Shale formation, and seems to rival the 1909 original in fossil diversity and preservation, researchers report today (Feb. 11) in the journal Nature Communications. In just two weeks, the research team collected more than 3,000 fossils representing 55 species. Fifteen of these species are new to science. [Gallery: Amazing Cambrian Fossils from Canada’s Marble Canyon]
“The rate at which we are finding animals — many of which are new — is astonishing, and there is a high possibility that we’ll eventually find more species here than at the original Yoho National Park site, and potentially more than from anywhere else in the world,” said Jean-Bernard Caron, lead study author and an invertebrate paleontologist at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
About 100,000 close to us than the original Wonderful Life fossils. Blink of a geologist’s eye.
The fossils are better preserved than the originals, and feature internal organs, including retinas, corneas, neural tissue, guts and even a possible heart and liver.
Paper. Burgess Shale-type fossil assemblages provide the best evidence of the ‘Cambrian explosion’. Here we report the discovery of an extraordinary new soft-bodied fauna from the Burgess Shale. Despite its proximity (ca. 40?km) to Walcott’s original locality, the Marble Canyon fossil assemblage is distinct, and offers new insights into the initial diversification of metazoans, their early morphological disparity, and the geographic ranges and longevity of many Cambrian taxa. The arthropod-dominated assemblage is remarkable for its high density and diversity of soft-bodied fossils, as well as for its large proportion of new species (22% of total diversity) and for the preservation of hitherto unreported anatomical features, including in the chordate Metaspriggina and the arthropod Mollisonia. The presence of the stem arthropods Misszhouia and Primicaris, previously known only from the early Cambrian of China, suggests that the palaeogeographic ranges and longevity of Burgess Shale taxa may be underestimated. (paywall, but glance at figures free)
Any guesses what the internal organs will show? Will they be the same as or different from typical representatives of the phyla today?
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