New Burgess Shale site discovery


Researchers discover ‘epic’ new Burgess Shale site in Canada’s Kootenay National Park, a deposit that may be world's most important animal fossil discovery in decades.

Yoho National Park’s 505 million year-old Burgess Shale – home to some of the planet’s earliest animals, including a very primitive human relative – is one of the world’s most important fossil sites. Now, more than a century after its discovery, a compelling sequel has been unearthed: 42 kilometres away in Kootenay National Park, a new Burgess Shale fossil bed has been located that appears to equal the importance of the original discovery, and may one day even surpass it.

A paper published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications describes Kootenay National Park’s new ‘Marble Canyon’ fossil beds for the first time. The authors suggest that the area and its extraordinary fossils will greatly further our understanding of the sudden explosion of animal life during the Cambrian Period.

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Last modified: 2023-04-24