An example of extraordinarily good preservation of fossils and an explanation of how it happened


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      NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-111-985,NSDL,The photograph shows the top surface of a very thin limestone bed found in the mudstones and shales in the upper part of this outcrop; This limestone bed contains the complete or nearly complete skeletons of many types of delicate sea creatures; Notice the tiny arms of the crinoid (or "sea lily" - a relative of starfish and sea urchins); Examination of living crinoids show that these tiny arms decay and fall apart soon after death (in a few hours); These crinoids must have been knocked over and buried alive or very soon after they died, because all the loosely stacked pieces of their arms are still together; Rapid burial by mud (or "smothering") happens in the deeper parts of modern coastal areas and in modern seas, during and just after hurricanes and other strong storms; Perhaps this one bed was laid down in a single ancient hurricane,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20120110191052076T



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