Friday, February 10, 2006

New Herefordshire Lagerstätte fossil


In the last few years many astonishingly well preserved fossils have been discovered in the Herefordshire Lagerstätte. The most amazing feature is that they are preserved in 3 dimensions inside nodules. Because of the way they are preserved the foosils can only be revealed by grinding thin sections of the nodules, taking pictures of the fossils and then reconstructing them in 3d in a computer.

The latest fossil to have been revealed is a platyceratid gastropod and it reveals amazing details of the soft tissue anatomy including "gonads, digestive gland, pedal muscle, radula, mouth and foot" - exceptionally unsual in fossils.

Many more fossil containing nodules have been found at this site but due to the slow process involved in extracting the information from them they have not been looked at yet. I wonder what other amazing fossils are waiting to be revealed.



Fossilized soft tissues in a Silurian platyceratid gastropod
M.D. Sutton, D.E.G. Briggs, David J. Siveter, Derek J. Siveter.
Proceedings: Biological Sciences (in press)
http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/link.asp?id=8332100l0278551q

Some Other related links:

Herefordshire Lagerstätte page: http://www.earth.ox.ac.uk/herefordshire/intro.htm

Three-dimensional preservation of a non-biomineralized arthropod in concretionsin Silurian volcaniclastic rocks from Herefordshire, England PDF

METHODOLOGIES FOR THE VISUALIZATION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL FOSSILS FROM THE SILURIAN HEREFORDSHIRE LAGERSTÄTTE LINK

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