Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Burgess Shale

100 years ago, history was made.

100 years ago, Charles Walcott discovered something.

100 years ago - almost to the day - the first fossils from the Burgess Shale were found.

The Burgess Shale, one of the world's most famous fossil sites, was first discovered on August 30, 1909 by Charles Walcott on the flanks of Mt. Stephen, British Columbia. The creatures found amongst the shale have fundamentally changed our understanding of evolution and the history of early life on this Planet. For more informationon this amazing discovery, see here and here.

While most of us understand the significance of the Burgess Shale, there is another significance to the date, August 30. We are quickly approching the 100th year aniversary of Walcott's discovery of the first Burgess Shale fossil. Sunday, in fact. Sunday is the 100th Anniversary of the fossil site's discovery, and Tuesday is the opening of ART Evolved's Anomalocaridid Gallery Time Capsule. Neat, huh?

Photo credit: Yukio Sato. Cover of Simon Conway Morris' book The Crucible of Creation, minus the hat.

This lovely convergence of the space-time continuum allows us to celebrate Burgess Shale's centenary through the eyes of Anomalocaris and friends! Join us in the celebration by creating and sending in your birthday card, birthday cake, or drunk Burgess party photos!