• Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Buried in Ice: Discovery of a Unique Fossil Site from the Lower Ordovician Period in Southern France


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 from the lower Ordovician period has been discovered. The area was once close to the south pole during this time and offers a rare glimpse into the polar ecosystems of that era. Scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS analyzed 400 well-preserved fossils dating back 470 million years, which were found in Montagne Noire.

The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, revealing that 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 sheds light on how organisms responded to extreme climate conditions in the past, providing valuable insight into a possible future under climate change.

Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon, two amateur paleontologists who discovered the site, have been prospecting and searching for fossils since their twenties. They were amazed and excited by their discovery and understood its importance.

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