The Burgess Shale provides us with a rare glimpse into the softer side of paleontology. Most fossils are preserved hard parts - bones, teeth and shells - but one of the most famous fossil locales in the world, the Burgess Shale, reveals subtle soft body structures like gills and eyes delicately preserved between the layers of dark rock. For more than 100 years, the Burgess Shale has been giving us a unique perspective on what life was like in the Cambrian seas. This month, EARTH Magazine contributor Mary Caperton Morton reminds us that no matter how well we think we know a fossil locality, it can still surprise us.
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Park Service (NPS) invite you to participate in the third annual National Fossil Day on October 17, 2012 during Earth Science Week (October 14-20). National Fossil Day brings together paleontologists, educators, and students from across the country to participate in fossil-related events and activities in parks, classrooms, and online!
In 1993, "Jurassic Park" thrilled the world with the idea that dinosaurs could be resurrected from bits of DNA preserved in mosquitoes trapped in ancient amber. In the 18 years since the movie came out, scientists have been finding that parts of this scenario are closer to reality than anyone ever imagined: Researchers have found microbes living for tens of thousands - and maybe millions - of years inside salt crystals.
Ask your kid what happened to the dinosaurs, and he or she will likely tell you that an asteroid killed them all. But ask how dinosaurs rose to prominence and you'll likely get a blank stare. Even many paleontologists may have little to say about the subject. But now, as EARTH explores in a feature in the February issue, new fossil discoveries are revealing the backstory of the rise of dinosaurs.
The American Geological Institute (AGI) and the National Park Service (NPS) are collaborating to hold the first annual National Fossil Day - October 13, 2010 - during Earth Science Week (October 10-16).