Inexperienced French fossil hunters find ancient fossils with global importance dating back 470 million years

In southern France, a new fossil site dating back to the lower Ordovician period has been discovered. This site contains some of the richest and most diverse fossils from this time period. The area where the fossils were found was close to the south pole during the Ordovician, offering a unique glimpse into the polar ecosystems of that time.

Scientists from the University of Lausanne and CNRS analyzed 400 well-preserved fossils dating back 470 million years, which were found in Montagne Noire. The results of their analysis were published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The fossils are incredibly well-preserved, with shell-like components and soft tissue fossils such as digestive systems and cuticles.

The fauna present at the site include arthropods, cnidarians, algae, and sponges. The high biodiversity of the fossils suggests that the area was an ancient refuge for species escaping hot conditions further north. This discovery sheds light on how organisms responded to extreme climate conditions in the past, providing valuable insight into a possible future under climate change.

Two amateur paleontologists, Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon, made the discovery while prospecting for fossils since their early twenties. They were amazed by their find and understood its importance as it provides a unique opportunity to learn about life on Earth in the past.

This discovery marks an important milestone in our understanding of life on Earth’s history and serves as a reminder that even in extreme environments like those experienced during climate change, life can find ways to thrive or adapt accordingly.

By Editor

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