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Current Affairs

Sea of fossils

Date: 03 August 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Large number of fossils buried in sea have been discovered by scientists in a quarry in England’s Cotswold Hills.

 

Background

The age of fossils is said to be more than 200 million years old. Scientists have named it ‘Jurassic Pompeii’.

 

Details

  • The fossil site contains many echinoderms such as sea cucumbers and starfish. They may have been killed in unknown natural calamities.

  • The initial investigations say that the natural calamity might be mudslide as large amount of mudflow has been discovered near the areas. This allowed the fossils to be preserved.

  • Alongside the organism, water lilies, wood samples, pollen sample and rocks were also found preserved. Study of these items will help in studying climatic conditions.

 

Significance of site

  • The site may have been created in the early phase of transition in seas when more than half of the marine species had died during a mass extinction event.

  • It is difficult to locate such a site as majority of the dead organisms would have been devoured by scavengers. Perhaps the mud kept the organisms fossiled.