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The Burgess Shale Faun2

The Burgess Shale Faun2 - Marella These animals were small...

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The Burgess Shale Fauna This deposit of rare and exquisitely preserved fossils has been much touted in numerous publications. The deposit was discovered by geologist Charles D. Walcott , who stopped to look at his horse's hoof and spotted an odd fossil by the trail. Walcott returned the next field season (and four others) and excavated over 50,000 fossils, which he later formally named and described in scientific publications. Modern studies suggest the presence of approximately 125 different genera from the Burgess Shale, amking it the most complete and famous known Paleozoic assemblage. The organisms range from the prokaryotic cyanobacteria to eukaryotic green and red algae, to sponges, brachiopods, priapulids, annelids, and many different arthropod groups, as well as echinoderms and possibly one of the first chordates. One of the most common Burgess animals is ther arthropod
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Unformatted text preview: Marella . These animals were small, and exhibited the jointed appendages characterizing the arthropods. These delicat looking arthropods are referred to as "lace crabs". The quality of preservation of these fossils is quite extraordinary. On many specimens dark stains are interpreted as body fluids that have leaked from the specimen after burial. Trilobites , a dominant Cambrian animal, lso occur in the Burgess Shale in abundance. Trilobites are an extinct group of arthropods that were most dominant in the Cambrain before finally becoming extinct at the close of the Paleozoic. Like Marella and other arthropods, trilobites have a hard exoskeleton (that enhanced the chances of fossilization) and numerous jointed appendages. In the trilobite shown, details of the appendages are not clear....
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