Amateur paleontologists discover site of epic significance – 400 fossils dating from 470 million years ago amid global warming

Amateur paleontologists discover site of epic significance – 400 fossils dating from 470 million years ago amid global warming

Sylvie Monseret-Gougeon co-discovered the Cabriere organisms containing fossils dating back 470 million years – SWNS

Two amateur paleontologists have discovered a site of “global importance” in France containing nearly 400 fossils dating back 470 million years.

Exceptionally well-preserved fossils provide evidence that this site was a refuge for animals escaping global warming.

The site in Montenegro is one of the richest and most diverse fossil sites in the world, dating back to the Ordovician period, which lasted for about 42 million years, at a time when southern Europe, Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Australia were clustered together on the supercontinent that was Moving towards Antarctica.

The amateurs who found these fossils were very happy when they realized the importance of their discovery.

“We’ve been excavating and looking for fossils since we were 20 years old,” said Eric Monseret and his wife, Sylvie. “When we found these amazing organisms, we understood the significance of the discovery and went from astonishment to excitement.”

The fossils are in a wonderful state of preservation, and contain extremely rare soft elements such as digestive systems and skin.

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Analysis of the site, known as the Cabrières Biota, revealed the presence of arthropods (a group that includes millipedes and shrimp) and cnidarians (which include jellyfish and corals), as well as numerous algae and sponges.

Artistic reconstruction by Prehistorica_CM of the Cabrières Biota – image released February 9, 2024 via SWNS

The high biodiversity at the site indicates that this area served as a refuge for species escaping the high temperatures prevailing north at that time.

Moreover, these organisms were located very close to the South Pole, revealing the formation of ecosystems farther south in the Ordovician.

“At this time of extreme global warming, animals were already living in high latitudes, escaping extreme tropical temperatures,” said lead author Dr Farid Salih, from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

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And this is just the beginning for the Swiss researchers and their colleagues at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), who published their findings in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Using innovative methods and techniques, they aim to reveal the internal and external anatomy of organisms, as well as infer their genetic relationships and lifestyles in the polar ecosystem.

Give hope to your fossil searching friends by sharing your find on social media…

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