Why is Burgess Shale Important? Essay

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Before we get started, I guess we should actually distinguish, ‘What IS the Burgess Shale?’ Well, it is said to be a “shrouded legend” deep in the Canadian Rockies discovered in the early 1900s by Charles D. Walcott, notorious Smithsonian Secretary (Adler 2013). According to Haug, Caron, and Haug in their research article ‘Demecology in the Cambrian: Synchronized Molting in Arthropods from the Burgess Shale’ the Burgess is “arguably the best-known Konservat-Lagerstätte”. While the Burgess Shale is primarily known for the intricate preservation of soft-bodied creatures dating from the early Cambrian Period (Haug, Caron, Haug 2013); furthermore, what seems to make this specific site so special is the fact that not only the soft parts of…show more content…
Even though anoxia is in general reflected on as an essential pre-requisite, “anoxia alone is not sufficient enough to account for Burgess shale-type preservation,” (Garson 2012). Furthermore, the necessity of anoxia is not universally agreed upon (Garson 2012). Yet, while rare and commonly absent from today’s fossil record, this type of preservation is very common throughout most Burgess shale-type deposits of these ancient fossils (Gaines 2012). Localities of these types are somewhat confined to Series 2 and 3 of the Cambrian (Garson 2012). The type of preservation, as stated above, that are a shared style within these various deposits, referred to by Garson in the Academic Journal ‘Dynamic palaeoredox and exceptional preservation in the Cambrian Spence Shale of Utah’, the “BST (Burgess Shale-type) preservation”. She, along with the other authors of the journal, claim, “Insight into the preservation of BST assemblages may be just as important as the exceptional fossils themselves as it speaks directly to the unique environmental conditions that were widespread in the marine realm at the time” (Palaeoredox 2012). I was almost positive this type of preservation was pretty basic until Gaines and his associates told me differently; here we jump back to ‘Mechanisms for Burgess Shale-type Preservation’, get into the nitty gritty and further discuss the different ways BST preservation actually goes down. In the article is provided

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