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Author Topic:   New Cambrian Discoveries
Tanypteryx
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Posts: 4280
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
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Message 1 of 2 (844133)
11-25-2018 2:25 PM


New sites for Cambrian fossils are revealing new species and details of known species. Exciting times.
Cracking the Cambrian: New fossils and sites are helping make sense of the mysterious flowering of animal life half a billion years ago.
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Throughout much of Cambrian paleontology, that's the gamea high-stakes, sometimes contentious race to find diagnostic body parts on known or new fossils, make arguments about what taxonomic groups they belong to, and maybe revise evolutionary history in the process.
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In the past few years, paleontologists have approached the problem with an array of new techniques. Those include scanning electron microscopes, which can discern a specimen's chemical makeup as well as image it, and computerized tomography (CT) scans, which can penetrate fossils without scraping away material.
quote:
The uncertainties leave paleontologists ever hungry for newer, better specimens. When there is a debate, you bring a new fossil and say, ‘Look, this is the feature we see,’ Caron says, warming up in a tent perched high above Tokumm Creek. Without fossils, it's speculation.
quote:
Each successive excavation in this valley has targeted the same band of rock, which records a single slice of geologic time. But each dig has yielded a different array of new species. That's because conditions varied across the ancient sea floor, favoring different animals. Such variation is not a shock to anybody that has ever strapped on a snorkel and swum around, Gaines says. But this vast, wide-open valley captures that kind of diversity at a single moment, allowing glimpses of how the earliest animal ecosystems were structured.
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Edited by Tanypteryx, : No reason given.

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Message 2 of 2 (844139)
11-25-2018 2:55 PM


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