Chengjiang

One of the highlighted Konservat-Lagerstätten in my Rise of Animals post is Chengjiang (a.k.a. the Maotianshan Shales). While Burgess has the historical significance, in terms of importance and potential, Chengjiang is arguably more important (see Shu, 2008).

What is a Mass Extinction?

One of the main background themes in my history of life series was that extinctions will always happen – they’re a natural part of the biosphere’s evolution. But I never really explained what a mass extinction is. For example, the case of mayflies, who emerge as sexually mature adults simultaneously …

The Eckfeld Maar Fossil Locality

One of the most impressive insect fossil localities is the Eckfeld Maar. The Eckfeld locality is actually a fossilised maar of the Eifel Mountains, Germany. Beneath the lake sediments lies a breccia layer, including basaltic fragments, meaning an easy argon dating opportunity: the bottom, i.e. oldest age of the sediments …