• Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Discovering the Past: Uncovering Diverse Ecosystems from Southern France’s Lower Ordovician Period


Feb 12, 2024
Inexperienced French fossil hunters find ancient fossils with global importance dating back 470 million years

In southern France, a new fossil site has been discovered from the lower Ordovician period. The site contains some of the richest and most diverse fossils from this time period, with over 400 well-preserved fossils dating back 470 million years found in Montagne Noire. These were analyzed by scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS, and their results were published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

The area where the fossils were discovered was close to the south pole during the Ordovician, providing a rare glimpse into the polar ecosystems of that time. 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 also sheds light on how organisms responded to extreme climate conditions in the past, providing valuable insight into a possible future under climate change.

Amateur paleontologists Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon made this amazing discovery while prospecting for fossils since they were twenty years old. They were thrilled by this discovery and understood its importance to scientific research.

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