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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. This site, located in Montagne Noire, contains some of the richest and most diverse fossils from this time period. Scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS analyzed 400 well-preserved fossils dating back 470 million years that were found at the site. The results of their research were published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

The area where the fossils were discovered was close to the south pole during the Ordovician, offering a rare glimpse into the 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. The discovery also sheds light on how organisms responded to extreme climate conditions in the past, providing valuable insight into a possible future under climate change.

Amateur paleontologists Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon made the discovery while prospecting for fossils since they were twenty years old. They were amazed and excited by their find and understood its importance.

By Editor

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