The fossil record is that the older they are, the rarer they are. The earth does not last forever, and the further you go back in time, the less likely you are to find evidence of the plants and animals that lived then. So, when we talk about fossils of creatures that died over 500 million years ago, you can imagine how hard they are to find, but paleontologists in China are just mothers.
A New Research Paper, published in
Science details the discovery of tens of thousands of primitive specimens in ancient hardened sediments along a river in China. The place called Qingjiang is packed with testimonials from soft-bodied animals that have been lost for the time being.
Fossils of soft-bodied animals are known to be difficult to find, as soft tissue tends to deteriorate too rapidly to become fossilized. Shells and bones, on the other hand, have a better chance of passing the test of time, so discovering a wealth of soft creatures for paleontologists is a truly monumental thing.
As explained by National Geographic thousands of specimens examined were identified as 1
The fossils are the remnants of ancient marine creatures that settled on the bottom of the sea upon death, were covered in mud and sediment, and gradually became compacted into shale. Now, as the scientists turn the stone away, they can see the ghostly shadows of the fossilized tissue that made their bodies look like a window of opportunity.
These creatures were among the earliest complex life forms on Earth, during the Cambrian period, when life on Earth branched out into various forms at a rapid pace. Scientists do not often have the opportunity to find dozens of new species at once, so this is a rare treat.