HOME Geology Sites BC Burgess Shale, Canada
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  BC Burgess Shale

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Added in: may 2006
Last Modified in: may 2006

Geology site description:

The Burgess shale is famous for its unique fossils from the Cambrian period. It is exception that the soft parts of organisms have been preserved. Many fossils look ttaly unfamiliar to known fossils from other locations. In 1909 this location was discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott.

The shales were deposited in a deepsea environment in the Cambrian period. At the foot of an underwater cliff regular mudflows covered all present life. This proces repeated itself numerous times, resulting in a thick shale formation with many fossils. The absence of oxygen resulted in the exeptional preservation of the soft parts.

Many kinds of fossils have been found here. Trilobites and similar creatures are most found. Primitive forms of crinoids, sponges, coral like fossils, worms, brachiopods are found. Also some bizarre unknown creatures not known from other locations.

The fossils of this location give us a unique view of the Cambrian explosion of life. In 1981 the site became an UNESCO world heritage site.

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The Burgess shale is exposed in the Canadese part of the Rocky Mountains in the state of British Columbia.

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