In southern France, a new fossil site has been discovered that dates back to the lower Ordovician period. The area, located in Montagne Noire, contains some of the richest and most diverse fossils from this time period. A team of scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS analyzed 400 well-preserved fossils found at the site, dating back 470 million years.
The discovery offers a rare glimpse into the polar ecosystems of that time, as the area was close to the south pole during the Ordovician. 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.
The two amateur paleontologists who discovered the site, Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon, have been prospecting and searching for fossils since their twenties. They were amazed and excited by their discovery and recognized its importance as a contribution to our understanding of life on Earth in times long past.