Burgess Shale


Burgess Shale
Stratigraphic range:
Miaolingian
~
Ottoia tricuspida ROM 63057.jpg
Ottoia, a soft-bodied worm, abundant in the Burgess Shale. (From Smith et al. 2015)
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofStephen Formation
Thickness161 meters (528 ft)[1]
Lithology
PrimaryShale
Location
Coordinates51°26′N 116°28′W / 51.433°N 116.467°W / 51.433; -116.467
RegionYoho National Park and Kootenay National Park
CountryCanada
Type section
Named forBurgess Pass
Named byCharles Doolittle Walcott, 1911
Canadian Rockies highlighting Yoho National Park.png
Map highlighting Yoho National Park in red

The Burgess Shale is a fossil-bearing deposit exposed in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, Canada.[2][3] It is famous for the exceptional preservation of the soft parts of its fossils. At 508 million years old (middle Cambrian),[4] it is one of the earliest fossil beds containing soft-part imprints.

The rock unit is a black shale and crops out at a number of localities near the town of Field in Yoho National Park and the Kicking Horse Pass. Another outcrop is in Kootenay National Park 42 km to the south.

  1. ^ Lexicon of Canadian Geological Units. "Burgess Shale". Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  2. ^ Butterfield, N. J. (1 February 2003). "Exceptional Fossil Preservation and the Cambrian Explosion". Integrative and Comparative Biology. 43 (1): 166–177. doi:10.1093/icb/43.1.166. ISSN 1540-7063. PMID 21680421.
  3. ^ Gabbott, Sarah E. (2001). "Exceptional Preservation". eLS. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. doi:10.1038/npg.els.0001622. ISBN 978-0-470-01590-2.
  4. ^ Butterfield, N.J. (2006). "Hooking some stem-group" worms": fossil lophotrochozoans in the Burgess Shale". BioEssays. 28 (12): 1161–6. doi:10.1002/bies.20507. PMID 17120226. S2CID 29130876.

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