In South China, a spectacular discovery has been done by scientists regarding rare and precious fossils. Mysterious life forms that were caught underground half a billion years ago are now the focus of scientists for research. Near Danshui River, a bed of around 30,000 fossils has been found and paleontologists have dated these fossils back to Cambrian period i.e. 518 million years back. It is a rare fossil bed and known as Lagerstätte. About 4,351 specimens of the epic find have been analyzed by the researchers. In this analysis, about eight different algae and 101 multicellular species have been identified. From these species, 53 percent are totally new for the scientists. These new species could help to know more about the explosion of animal life on our planet.
It is believed that multi-cellular life may have emerged about 635 million years ago i.e. in the Ediacarian Period. Discovery of these new species sounds like one of the major animal phyla which may have been seen on the fossil records in about 25 million years in the world. These species must have diversified to produce all the multi-cellular lives present today. With time, the tissues degrade. As a result of this, the fossil records are rather patchy and are confined to very few shale beds around the globe. Other shale beds are found in Burgess Shale, in Canada, in Sweden, in Chengjiang in China, Australia, Greenland, etc.
During the Cambrian period, shale beds were present in the form of fine silt mud on the seafloors. The creatures in the oceans died and fell on the seafloor. They were then buried by the silt falling on it. Their bodies were preserved by a slow but long geological process. Pressure and heat hardened the silt into shale to some extent. Such an incredible process of preservation captured all the impressions of these soft-bodied creatures and we can study it after millions of years. There are fossil fuels of box jellies, anemones, jellyfish, sponges proliferate, branched algae, etc. which are missing from other deposits. Paleontologists believe that this is the best of best discoveries till now.