An article published this week in the magazine Nature ecology and evolution Describes amazing fossil deposits discovered in the United Kingdom. The site contains preserved eyes and brains of 462 million-year-old creatures hidden among a treasure trove of unknown species.
Called Castle Bank, the site is home to a large number of marine invertebrate creatures and their organs, giving researchers a unique window into how soft-bodied life diversified in the Ordovician (485.4 million to 443.8 million years ago). Statement issued by the Wales Museum.
The study's authors believe they have recovered more than 170 species from the site, most of which are new to science.
These species include barnacles, shrimp, and an unidentified insect-like creature with six legs. The rocks also contain fossilized trilobite digestive systems, eyes and brains of unidentified arthropods, as well as preserved worms and sponges.
“Every time we go back we find something new, and sometimes it's something really unusual,” says Joseph Botting, honorary researcher at Amgueddfa Cymru. “There are many unanswered questions, and this site will continue to produce new discoveries for decades.”
Putin discovered the site in 2020, near his home in Llandrindod Wells, during the coronavirus lockdown. To protect the area and at the request of the landowner, the exact location remains a secret, but the authors, who spent 100 days there, describe it as a small quarry inside a sheep farm.
The preserved ecosystem at Castle Bank may have served as a nursery for hatchlings, with only small examples of the more common trilobite species – called Ogygenus corn – Found on the site.
However, the study authors also suggest that the small size of the fossils may simply be a feature of the community of animals that lived there.
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