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A Globally Significant Fossil Location Unearthed in Southern France

by GO ON
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A fossil site of world importance has been discovered in southern France.

A pair of amateur paleontologists recently discovered a world-class fossil site in southern France, containing the remains of creatures that lived about 470 million years ago.

Cabrières in the south of France is famous for its local vineyards. Now it is also famous among paleontologists, as the site of a newly discovered Paleolithic site with finds from the Lower Ordovician. According to the first reactions, it is one of the richest and also the most diverse fossil deposits from the period 470 million years ago in the world.

About 400 fossils of Ordovician nature have so far been found in Cabrières, which according to paleontologists are exceptionally well preserved. In addition to the classic findings of solid shells, otherwise extremely rare remains of soft body parts, such as digestive systems or parts of the skin, were also found here.
It is also very interesting for experts that this area was located near the then south geographic pole in the mentioned period. The fossils at Cabrières therefore reveal the southernmost known animal communities of the time. The scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution has just published the results of the first analyzes of this so-called Cabrières biota.

Scientists at Cabrières found a variety of arthropods and fireflies, as well as a large number of algae and marine sponges. They believe that such a rich community could have served as a refuge with favorable conditions for organisms that faced environmental pressures elsewhere, such as temperature extremes, which were not an exception at the time.

Two enthusiastic amateur paleontologists, Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon, played a key role in the discovery of the Cabrières site. The research of the site is at the very beginning, in the future there will undoubtedly be extensive excavations and other important discoveries.

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