Researchers have unearthed fossil of 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale at home ground of some of the world's earliest animals, Yoho National Park in British Columbia. The new Burgess Shale fossil site has been found by the researchers 26 miles away in Kootenay National Park.
Dr. Robert Gaines, Pomona College geologist, said that about 200 species of animals have been discovered at the Yoho Burgess Shale site in past 100 years in over 600 field days. Out of all the animal species, some have been found in the famous Chengjiang fossil beds of China that are 10 million years older than the Kootenay Park site.
Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron, Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, and Associate Prof. at the University of Toronto, said that the novel research throws light in understanding the evolution of early animal on this planet.
The Kootenay Park site, 'Marble Canyon', was discovered in 2012 by researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum, Pomona College, the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and Uppsala University. Also, British Columbia's Yoho National Park was discovered for first time by UNESCO World Heritage in 1909.
Researchers are of the view that the presence of extraordinary fossils on the site will also help them in exploring animal life during Cambrian Period. The integrity and conservation of the novel fossil site is handled by Parks Canada, which feels proud in offering access to make use of fossils for research purposes.
With the discovery of fossil of the Burgess Shale, the Royal Ontario Museum is celebrating 100 years of completion this year.