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Rare Jurassic Fossils Discovered

Wed, 2017/03/01 - 12:57pm -- shawn


A trove of exceptionally well preserved fossils has been discovered at Ya Ha Tinda Ranch near Banff National Park, helping to expand scientists’ knowledge of marine life that existed here more than 180 million years ago.

And an EOAS researcher was part of the discovery team. Benjamin Gill, a professor at Virginia Tech was talking with Theodore Them, an EOAS Arts & Sciences Fellow postdoc, when he noticed Theodore standing right on top of a lobster. They looked around and discovered fossils all around them.

The lobster was the first sign the site could be special because lobsters’ flexible exoskeletons aren’t usually preserved as fossils. Other fossils recovered include delicate shrimp, fish skeletons, and “vampyropods” (a relative of the modern vampire squid) with their delicate ink sacks still intact.

(The above information taken from the official press release)

Follow the links below to read more.

Photos provided by Theodore Them shown below.

Research team & field assistants (Virginia Tech and University of Texas) 2014, Credit: W. Martindale

Field site, 2015, Credit:  T. Them

Team searching for fossils
(S. Marroquin, B. Gill, A. Caruthers), 2015, Credit: T. Them

Angela Gerhardt (field assistant) and Teddy Them
2013, Credit:  B. Gill

Lobster (in field)
2013, Credit: B. Gill

Lobster claw (in field)
2013, Credit: B. Gill