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Primordial bestiary gets an annex

Burgess shale site expands to include thinner deposits

By
2:59pm, August 30, 2010

One of paleontology’s most revered fossil sites now has a baby brother. Scientists have discovered a group of astonishing fossils high in the Canadian Rockies, just 40 kilometers from the famous Burgess Shale location.

A paper describing the find appears in the September issue of Geology.

Since its discovery in 1909, the Burgess Shale has yielded many thousands of fossils dating to 505 million years ago — a period often called “evolution’s big bang,” when animals were exploding in diverse body plans. These soft-bodied critters scurried around on the sea floor, then were buried in mudslides and exquisitely preserved. 

Burgess foss

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