– This is the largest collection in terms of preservation quality. I feel very honored to have been fortunate enough to live at the exact time this discovery was made, Tim Ewin, senior curator at the Natural History Museum in London, told BBC.
Amateur fossil hunters have found record numbers of Jurassic fossils in the Cotswolds in England, an area described as “Jurrasic Pompeii”, the newspaper reported. Security. This case has also been discussed in BBC.
Instead of baking bread or taking online quizzes during the lockdown, Dr. Sally and Neville Hollingworth go on a fossil hunt. Then they found a mine in Costworlds. There they made one of Britain’s largest fossil discoveries in decades.
The couple were avid amateur paleontologists. They spent the weekend exploring the Cotswold hills and beyond, looking for interesting rocks.
Will provide key information
Their discovery, which is 167 million years old, has been described by London’s Museum of Natural History as the greatest discovery of the Jurassic echinoderms – a group of animals that includes sea stars, snake stars and feather stars.
So far, more than a thousand scientific specimens have been excavated from the site – including a unique collection of rare feather stars, sea lilies and sea stars. They also discovered three new species: a feather star, a snake star, and a sea cucumber.
Experts say the discovery will provide important information that will help explain the evolutionary history of this marine animal, according to The Guardian.
– They look so boring, and then you start to see all the details, and the preservation is amazing, it’s unreal, no. These little guys were here when the dinosaurs were on their way, Sally told The Guardian.
Well maintained and globally important
Realizing the significance of the find, the couple contacted Tim Ewin, senior curator at the Natural History Museum, late last year. Ewin said he immediately understood from the photos that “we have something quite special”. But due to coroner’s restrictions, it took months before he could investigate further.
After a week of extracting specimens from the site – which is no bigger than two tennis courts and which would have been underwater 167 million years ago – he confirmed that the discovery was of global importance.
The fact that the fossils are well preserved can be explained by the fact that there was an accident that caused a landslide.
– We have this happy little ecosystem, so boom! – something catastrophic happened. Maybe an earthquake caused the landslide, and everything was covered in clay. This is why conservation is so amazing, because scavengers can’t come to all the animals to separate them, Zoe Hughes, curator at the National History Museum told the BBC.
After three days of excavation at the site, the team has collected 100 clay slabs, which are being prepared for future exploration and which the museum hopes to put on public display.
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