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`Mother lode` of fossil treasure unearthed in Canada

ANI | Last Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 17:31

Washington: A treasure trove of fossils has been discovered in a canyon in Canada`s Kootenay National Park, 40 kilometers from Burgess Shale, which is considered one of the most important fossil fields in the world.

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.

The new fossils were spotted in a mountain cliff, in Marble Canyon, and researchers are hoping to protect the exact location to prevent looting of the treasure.
The newly discovered rocks are probably about 100,000 years younger than those at the first Burgess Shale site and many of the fossils at the new site are better preserved than their quarry counterparts, the researchers have reported.

The new fossils reveal the internal organs like retinas, corneas, neural tissue, guts and even a possible heart and liver of several different arthropods.

Jean-Bernard Caron, lead study author and an invertebrate paleontologist at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, said that the rate at which they are finding animals, many of which are new, is astonishing, and there is a high possibility that they will eventually find more species at the original Yoho National Park site, and potentially more than from anywhere else in the world.
The report was published in the journal Nature Communications.

First Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 17:31

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