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Canada Science

Massive New Cambrian-Era Fossil Bed Found 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the long-term-storage dept.
jfbilodeau sends word of a massive new trove of fossils located in Canada, which scientists say will rival the acclaimed Burgess Shale fossil bed. The rock formation inside which both fossil sites were found is roughly 505 million years old (abstract). The fossils provide insight into the Cambrian explosion, a time that brought the rapid appearance and diversification of many animal forms. "In just two weeks, the research team collected more than 3,000 fossils representing 55 species. Fifteen of these species are new to science." Paleontologist Jean-Bernard Caron said, "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." The fossils at the new site are about 100,000 years younger and are better preserved than those at the renowned Burgess shale site.
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Massive New Cambrian-Era Fossil Bed Found

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:11PM (#46221259)

    Or because it is not in the US it doesn't exist?

  • Re:It's the devil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Punko (784684) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:13PM (#46221287)
    I always though the Fundamentalist position was that fossils were put there by God, so as to test the faith of hapless followers.

    Colour me surprised.

    Thank goodness neither position has anything to do with the real world.
  • Re:It's the devil (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:15PM (#46221319)

    Darn that devil for foolin' us! But Darn god for giving us deductive reasoning. It's god's fault I'll end up in hell.

  • Re:Unknown species (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:19PM (#46221385)

    The fossil record is mainly a few specific locations, each location being a small time window of that location.
    Without visiting the Gallapagos islands all those distinct species would never have been observed.

    The fossil record is like looking through a tiny peephole at the crowd of life.

    There can also be a lot of confusion between juviniles and adults of species. Are they distinct species or not? Sometimes the body size and skeletal formation can be quite different between the young and the old.

  • Re:Unknown species (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:22PM (#46221435) Journal

    Radically? I'd say not from a layman's point of view. The biggest that happened in my lifetime is probably finding organ details of dinosaurs that indicate they weren't cold-blooded like modern lizards.

    It shouldn't be a surprise that so many species have gone unknown, especially as far back as the Cambrian period. The odds of a creature being fossilized are very low after all.

  • Re:It's the devil (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:27PM (#46221493)

    The devil's deception is so exquisitely designed and executed that it is worth studying and admiring.

  • Re:It's the devil (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:33PM (#46221571)

    I always though the Fundamentalist position was that fossils were put there by God, so as to test the faith of hapless followers.

    Colour me surprised.

    Thank goodness neither position has anything to do with the real world.

    Oh, the hubris of the fundies who think that.

    If God does exist, He damn well could have created man in His image via evolution.

  • Re:Unknown species (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:38PM (#46221623)

    I really thought we knew more.

    We don't. We're aware of a tiny fraction what was around then... and usually only animals that had skeletons. Think of sharks... the only reason we know how long they've been around if because we find their teeth. There could have been entire species of invertebrates that ruled the earth and we'd have little chance of ever finding out.

  • Re:It's the devil (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Punko (784684) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:57PM (#46221905)
    Not a Christian stereotype, a fundamentalist one. I refuse to stereotype as Christian those that use the Christian moniker for such restrictive viewpoints.

    I completely agree that most Christians believe in evolution and the use of science to understand the existing universe, regardless of the source of the Universe.

    I don't know personally anyone who believe in the literal truth of the various holy books lying around.

    As someone placed in the Christian faith not by my choice, it bugs me when folks use "Christian" as a descriptor to mean "I do what I want, how I want, in the name of Christianity". Folks like that have no issue treating certain other folks badly, all in the name of some misguided (my opinion) understanding of certain phrases.
  • Re:It's the devil (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @05:37PM (#46222989) Journal

    > I believe in God

    Why?

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