Boulder, CO, USA - GEOLOGY topics include the fossil conservation of organic tissues, including guts, gills, muscles, and eyes, as carbon; an habitable zone model for recovery after major extinction; the complex response of biodiversity to both climate and tectonics; the "celebrated weirdness of Ediacaran fossils" preserved in fine-grained carbonate sediments; and a powerful new way to concentrate gold. GSA TODAY compares present microbially induced sediment structures to microbial communities preserved in Earth history some three billion years ago.
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Cambrian Burgess Shaletype deposits share a common mode of fossilization
Robert R. Gaines et al., Geology Department, Pomona College, Claremont, California 91711, USA. Pages 755-758. NSF funding received.
Evidence for the proliferation of animals and the rise of complex ecosystems during the Cambrian period are best known from the Burgess Shale and a handful of other deposits like it. Whereas the typical fossil record is comprised of shells, teeth, bone, and other mineralized skeletal parts, Burgess Shaletype deposits preserve soft tissues, including guts, gills, muscles, appendages, and eyes, and offer an unparalleled record of early animal life. Significant disagreement in the paleontological community has persisted over exactly how these fos
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