Skip to content

Earth Science Week, Fossil Day: Ruffin’s Slab

October 16, 2013

Originally posted on Research & Collections:

The mosaic image of Ruffin's slab, as the working we-can-write-on-it document.  Photos by Chris Tacker

The mosaic image of Ruffin’s slab, as the working we-can-write-on-it document. Photos by Chris Tacker

North Carolina has good localities for Mesozoic fossils, but the most enigmatic and, to me, most interesting ones are from the Proterozoic (once called Precambrian). The Ediacaran Period is part of the latest Proterozoic, often called the Neoproterozoic. The Cambrian is still the Cambrian, and at the base of the Cambrian is what is often called the “Cambrian Explosion.” At that point in the Earth’s history, animals developed hard parts that could be easily fossilized.

Before that? The Cambrian Explosion actually had a very long fuse. Life existed, but without the hard parts that fossilize and leave us a record. So what is found in the Proterozoic are casts and molds of soft-bodied life forms, and the tracks and trails that some of them made. (We’ll leave aside all the geochemical data regarding stratigraphy…

View original 896 more words

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64 other followers

%d bloggers like this: