In southern France, a new fossil site dating back to the lower Ordovician period has been discovered. The site contains some of the richest and most diverse fossils from this time period, with 400 well-preserved specimens found in Montagne Noire and analyzed by scientists from the University of Lausanne and the CNRS. The results were published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
The discovery of this site offers a rare glimpse into the polar ecosystems that existed during the Ordovician period. Located near what was once the south pole, the area provides valuable insight into how organisms responded to extreme climate conditions in the past.
Among the fossils found at the site are 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 these fossils suggests that this area may have served as an ancient refuge for species escaping hot conditions further north.
Two amateur paleontologists, Eric Monceret and Sylvie Monceret-Goujon, made the discovery after years of prospecting for fossils since their early twenties. They were thrilled to uncover such a valuable resource and plan to continue exploring this fascinating area of history.