Huge Fossil Discovery made in China
Scientists have discovered a stunning trove of thousands of fossils on the banks of the Danshui river in
China. These fossils date back to 518 million years and are very unusual because a majority of the
creatures are soft bodied organisms like jelly fish and worms that would normally never get fossilized.
More than 20,000 specimens were collected out of which 4351 have been analyzed so far.
These fossils belong to the Cambrian period which started about 540 million years ago. This is the period
of evolution in which simple organisms transformed into more complex and diverse species. Previously
much of what scientists knew about the Cambiran period was from a 508 million year old site called
Burgess Shale discovered in 1909 in Canadian Rocky mountains. The new discovery in China is not only
10 million years older than Burgess Shale but also has large number of previously unknown species.
Paleontologist Jean Bernard Caron said, “It’s basically a new window to the Cambrian world.” It will fill
knowledge gaps regarding animal species which are largely missing at other Cambrian sites.
Scientists are finding this discovery mind blowing since the soft body tissue such as eyes, skin, internal
organs of many creatures have been exquisitely preserved. Paleontologist Allison Daley said this is the
most significant finding in 100 years. It will give scientists the opportunity to better understand the
evolution of animal life on planet Earth.