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The ROM paleontologist leading the mission describes the find as 'a new motherlode'

New arthropod ROM 62976, discovered at the Marble New Burgess Shale Fossil Site in Kootenay National Park Canyon site.

Jean-Bernard Caron/ROM

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Paleontologists have discovered a vast and ancient fossil bed in Kootenay National Park which they say could equal or surpass the famous Burgess Shale deposit just 42 kilometres away. The new find is half a billion years old, similar in age to its famous counterpart,but it contains many new and previously undocumented life forms.

Jean-Bernard Caron

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Polychaete, one of the specimens discovered at the Kootenay site. The fossils are remarkable for the degree of preserved detail.

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A view of the quarry site and Diego Balseiro.

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Gabriela Mangano, left, near the Kootenay site.

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Leanchoilid, one of the specimens unearthed at the Kootenay site. The new find dates back to the Cambrian Period, some 505 million years ago.

Jean-Bernard Caron/ROM

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Molaria, another of the specimens discovered at the Kootenay site. Dr. Caron’s teams also found fossil types that had previously only been seen in Asia, along with others never encountered by scientists anywhere.

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Mollisonia, another of the specimens found at the Kootenay site. The detail preserved in features related to eyes, joints, and nerves should shed light on the early evolution of animal life.

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Naraoia, another of the specimens discovered at the Kootenay site. All the specimens found at the site lived on the ocean bottom and were later covered with a muddy silt, which gradually became a fine-grained rock.

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