A new fossil site has been discovered in southern France that contains some of the richest and most diverse fossils from the Lower Ordovician period. The site was analyzed by scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS, who published their findings in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
The area where the fossils were found was close to the South Pole during the Ordovician period, offering a rare insight 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 includes arthropods, cnidarians, algae, and sponges.
The high biodiversity of fossils suggests that the area was an ancient refuge for species that escaped hot conditions further north. The discovery sheds light on how organisms have responded to extreme climate conditions in the past, providing valuable insight into possible futures under climate change.
The two amateur paleontologists who discovered this site, Eric Monserre and Sylvie Monserre-Goujon, have been researching and searching for fossils since they were in their twenties. They were amazed and excited by their discovery and understood its importance.