Amateur paleontologists have discovered hundreds of private fossils in French forests

About the episode

You may have just strolled through it: nearly 400 incredibly well-preserved fossils dating back 470 million years that were recently discovered in southern France in the Montenegro Valley.

They were found by two amateur paleontologists, who immediately realized they had found something special. It is one of the most diverse and richest finds from that era. This makes this discovery extremely important for research on ecosystems since that time.

Among the fossils are pieces of shell, but there are also rare parts of the body that are not often preserved, such as the digestive system. The highly diverse group of organisms, which include shrimp, algae, sponges and jellyfish, once existed all the way to Antarctica, but may have moved north as temperatures rose.

The fossils will be examined extensively in the near future. This will reveal how organisms are put together and how they can be linked to their distant, contemporary relatives. Until it continues. But for now: Maybe look between your feet more carefully during your next vacation. You never know.

Read more about the research here: A new fossil site of global importance has been discovered in southern France

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Megan Vasquez

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