In South Africa, the unprecedented discovery of a 260-million-year-old fossil lake with abundant diversity – Liberation

Paleontology

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Scientists have excavated a paleolake, including very well-preserved fossils of plants and insects. His research reveals incredible biodiversity and can help to better understand climate change. Unheard of in this part of the world.

Geological, chronological, biological information, everything was there. An international team of researchers has uncovered a paleolake that is no less than 260 million years old in South Africa. The first results of the site study have been published in the journal Communication biology 30 October. Fossils of plants and arthropods (the family to which insects belong) have been found by the thousands in the sedimentary basin of the Karoo region. Biodiversity richness and conservation status “unique” fossils have left scientists speechless. Permafrost deposits are very rare compared to other periods of Earth’s history and “plants and insects are rarely found because they are less well preserved than bones”, explains Romain Garrouste, palaeontologist from the Norwegian Natural History Museum, who participated in the project.

This discovery has allowed scientists to fill a gap in knowledge about the ecosystems of the Permian, the Earth’s geological period, which dates from between -299 and -251 million years ago. During its final phase (Permian-Triassic), it experienced the most severe mass extinction ever. About 90% of genera (groups of families of species) will have

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