I guess I should have been a bit more clear about the fossils. Most of the specimens in the photos from 1993 were slated for the collections at the Royal Ontario Museum. A few things like the Anomalocaris
appendage and the Marrella
are pretty common at the Burgess Shale and were found in the talus so they would have been left by the ROM. The Wiwaxia
from 2002 is still at the Burgess Shale site locked in a steel box with other representative specimens to be used for display purposes during guided hikes. All of the remaining Burgess specimens were found laying in the talus. So yes they are left to the ravages of weathering. Occasionally a great or rare specimen is found in the talus and added to the lock box but many of the specimens are relatively common or an excess of them have already been collected by the ROM and/or Smithsonian.
The Trilobites from Mount Stephen are a combination of talus finds during the hike or came from another lock box at the site. Mount Stephen is an amazing place as virtually every piece of shale has at least one trilobite (or piece of trilobite) on it. The number of trilobites found at the site is astounding too, but I'll not get into that here.
For more insight on the management or mismanagement (depending on how you see things) of the Burgess Shale see this link: http://www.thefossil...-burgess-shale/
Edited by palaeopix, 01 December 2010 - 01:06 PM.