Saturday, January 24, 2009

The 20 most important fossil sites

As part of my consulting job with Dorling Kindersley I have been asked to compile a list of the top 20 most important fossil sites and was hoping that my small, but extremely intelligent, readership might want to contribute. (Not that I'm trying to get you to do my job for me mind.)

Here is a few starters for you:

  • Jehol
  • Solnhofen
  • Burgess Shale
  • Chengjiang
  • Hell Creek
  • Patagonia
  • Isle of Wight
  • Soom Shale
  • Karoo
  • Doushantuo
  • Rhynie Chert
  • Gogo Formation
  • Mazon Creek
  • Joggins
  • Santana
  • Green River
  • Dominican Amber
  • La Brea

I make that 18. Of course I could always just steal Wikipedia's lagerstätte list, but there are far more than 20, and does something have to be a lagerstätte to be important?

All comments greatly appreciated.


John said...

How about Messel? Also, strictly speaking, aren't some of those "sites" actually formations?

John said...

A few more ideas: how about the Ediacara Hills? At the other end of the spectrum, the Lower Awash Valley (which includes Hadar and several other important hominid sites)?

Malacoda said...

Thanks for the ideas John. Yes, I was thinking there ought to at least be an Ediacaran one. And yes, of course, they are a mix of formations, biotas and sites at the moment.

Malacoda said...

Hmmm. Thinking about it, teh Herefordshire lagerstatte would be a good one too.

Manabu "Mambo-Bob" Sakamoto said...

How about some of the Morrison Formation sites? They're greatly important to the advancement of 19th century dinosaur research (with the bone wars and all) - but still important to this day

Malacoda said...

int. I knew there would be some obvious one's I'd overlook!

About Me

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Currently I am founding member, president elect and entire membership of SWEMP (the Society of Wonky-Eyed Macroevolutionary Palaeobiologists). In my spare time I get paid to do research on very dead organisms and think about the really big questions in life, such as: What is the ultimate nature of reality? Why is there no room for free will in science? and What are the implications of having a wardrobe that consists entirely of hotpants?