• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Discovery of a Fossil Site in Southern France Sheds Light on Ancient Polar Ecosystems and Climate Responses


Feb 12, 2024
Inexperienced French fossil hunters find ancient fossils with global importance dating back 470 million years

In southern France, a new fossil site from the lower Ordovician period has been discovered. The site is located in Montagne Noire and was analyzed by scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS. The results were published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

The area where the fossils were found was close to the south pole during the Ordovician, providing a rare glimpse into polar ecosystems of that time. The fossils are incredibly well-preserved, with shell-like components and soft tissue fossils such as digestive systems and cuticles.

The fauna present at the site include arthropods, cnidarians, algae, and sponges. The high biodiversity of the fossils suggests that the area was an ancient refuge for species escaping hot conditions further north. This discovery sheds light on how organisms responded to extreme climate conditions in the past, providing valuable insight into a possible future under climate change.

The two amateur paleontologists who discovered the site, Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon, have been prospecting and searching for fossils since their twenties. They were amazed and excited by their discovery, understanding its importance fully.

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