The Fossils of the Burgess Shale

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9781560986591: The Fossils of the Burgess Shale
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pp. 238, b/w photographs, "You might think a listing of the fossils found in a single site would not be all that interesting, but the Burgess Shale collection is extraordinary. For whereas most fossilization preserves hard tissues like bones, teeth, and shells, the geologic forces that formed the Burgess Shale also preserved soft tissues. The...

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You might think a listing of the fossils found in a single site would not be all that interesting, but the Burgess Shale collection is extraordinary. For whereas most fossilization preserves hard tissues like bones, teeth, and shells, the geologic forces that formed the Burgess Shale also preserved soft tissues. The shale's fossil animals and plants are from the Cambrian, an era long before the dinosaurs during which a remarkable array of living things came into being. The site itself, in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, was discovered early in this century. Its full import wasn't grasped for many years, but the discoveries it eventually afforded, even if they don't include T. Rexes, certainly rival those made by any dinosaur hunter. Although looking--as this book lets us, up close and in detail--at fossilized sponges, algae, worms, and such may not inspire another Jurassic Park, budding and armchair paleontologists will have a field day, even though the accompanying text is thick with technical talk. Jon Kartman

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