Spectacular 430 million-year-old ‘virtual fossils’ help interpret the evolution of life

Understanding of the history of life on Earth relies heavily on the fossil record, and especially on rare cases of exceptional preservation, where soft parts of animals and entire soft-bodied animals are preserved.

We have discovered such fossils in 430 million year old rocks in Herefordshire in the Welsh Borderland. This fossil deposit of global importance contains many types of animals. They are ‘extracted’ as high fidelity three-dimensional virtual fossils that yield a wealth of information on animal palaeobiology, biodiversity and the history of life and are crucial in resolving controversies about the evolution of animals still alive today.

Professor David Siveter Geology

David Siveter 1065

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