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The fauna of the Burgess Shale - Lab Report Example

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The fauna of the Burgess Shale

It was required to compare the results with information on modern faunas and normal Cambrian faunas. Also it was required to discuss the representativeness of the former and the differences between the latter and Cambrian faunas.
It represents most of deep marine but not shallow or tropical one. The reason for this is that Cambrian rocks only have marine fossils, mainly for species that lived on hard substrates on the sea floor and this includes Burgess Shale fauna
6. How does fauna of Burgess Shale compare with that of Cambrian deposits exhibiting normal (mineralized hard part-only) preservation, in terms of higher taxa represented and their relative proportion? How representative therefore are normal faunas?
In terms of higher taxa representation, Cambrian deposits exhibiting normal (mineralized hard part-only) preservation accounts for only a minor component of the total diversity. Similarly, in most Burgess Shale-types deposits, the Shelly assemblage normally represents a small proportion of the collected specimen. In this case, soft bodied organisms fossilized remains especially from Burgess Shale the Cambrian ecosystem knowledge could be totally limited
Burgess fauna consists of many soft bodied animals’ fossils as well as those with hard parts. A completely soft bodied animal normally rot away before it is fossilized. Hard parts are crucial because they are more easily preserved; they are seen to help an organism last for a longer time to become fossilized. Burgess Shale is rich in life most of fauna in it are soft bodies while it contain only 0.89% of mineralized hard parts.
Burgess Shale, organisms lived in underwater mud banks, the moving water buried living organism in moving sediment. They are therefore found in random orientation. Modern muddy marine invertebrates usually curl up upon dying but fossils of the Burgess Shale locality never exhibit such coiling and there is evidence that this organisms died instantly.
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This laboratory exercise is based on ecology and diversity of Cambrian faunas which gives an insight into the cause and nature of the ‘Cambrian Explosion’. The practical consists of a series of calculations using data from the Burgess Shale fauna that was exceptionally…
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The fauna of the Burgess Shale essay example
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