Explicada a extraordinária preservação de fósseis africanos

segunda-feira, janeiro 24, 2011

Remarkable Preservation of African Fossils Explained

ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — The mystery of how an abundance of fossils have been marvellously preserved for nearly half a billion years in a remote region of Africa has been solved by a team of geologists from the University of Leicester's Department of Geology.

This is a Eurypterid (sea scorpion) from the Soom Shale, South Africa. This fossil is approximately 440 million years old. It is so well-preserved that you can see its muscle blocks, gills and paddles that it used for swimming. (Credit: University of Leicester)

They have established that an ancient wind brought life to the region -- and was then instrumental in the preservation of the dead.

Sarah Gabbott, Jan Zalasiewicz and colleagues investigated a site near the Table Mountains in South Africa. Their findings are published in the latest issue of the journal Geology.

Sarah Gabbott said: "Near Table Mountain in South Africa lies one of the world's most mysterious rock layers. Just a few metres thick, and almost half a billion years old, it contains the petrified remains of bizarre early life-forms, complete with eyes and guts and muscles.

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Science Daily