Scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS have recently discovered a new fossil site in southern France dating back to the lower Ordovician period. The site, located in Montagne Noire, contains some of the richest and most diverse fossils from this time period. A total of 400 well-preserved fossils were found, dating back 470 million years, and analyzed by the researchers.
The discovery of this site provides a unique opportunity to study polar ecosystems during the Ordovician period. The area was close to the south pole at that time, offering valuable insight into how organisms adapted to extreme climate conditions. The fossils found at the site include arthropods, cnidarians, algae, and sponges, all of which are incredibly well-preserved with shell-like components and soft tissue fossils such as digestive systems and cuticles.
The high biodiversity of the fossils suggests that the area was an ancient refuge for species escaping hot conditions further north. This discovery sheds light on how organisms responded to extreme climate conditions in the past, providing valuable insight into a possible future under climate change.
Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon, two amateur paleontologists who discovered the site, were amazed by their find. They have been prospecting for fossils since they were twenty years old and understand the importance of their discovery. Their passion for paleontology has led them to make many significant discoveries over the years, but this one is particularly special to them. They hope that their work will inspire others to explore and appreciate our planet’s geological past.