COOL IMAGES: Weird Fossil Menagerie

Science  19 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5444, pp. 1439a
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5444.1439a

This fossilized arthropod (Marrella splendens) set many a pulse racing a few years ago when paleontologists realized that the black splotch might be a rare example of organic fluids squeezed out of the crablike critter's innards as it decayed. Plucked from the Burgess Shale, the world-famous site in the Canadian Rockies chronicling the Cambrian explosion of multicellular life over 500 million years ago, the fossil is featured in a Web gallery at Yale's Peabody Museum. Yale invertebrate paleontologist Tim White and students have posted about 600 exceptionally preserved and spectacular invertebrate fossils, many of which are bizarre marine creatures bearing little resemblance to modern life-forms. Organized both by taxon and lagerstatten (famous site), the specimens span Precambrian worms to Tertiary corals. For more online fossils, see this exhibits list:

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