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palaeopix

The Burgess Shale In Photos.

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lawooten

Thank you Dan,

I am looking forward to reading the books that you have recommended I read and will do so as soon as I get through the holidays or before with any luck.

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Tony Eaton

Thanks for the pics on the Burgess shale through the years. They are excellent!

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John

Great pics everyone! I figure I should add one of my own. This Leanchoilia was photographed in alcohol. In dry air it looks fairly indistinct, but change the refractive index of the medium it sits in and WHAM - the colors just jump right out. Fascinating stuff.

post-2206-075860200 1291358840_thumb.jpg

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pleecan

Great pics everyone! I figure I should add one of my own. This Leanchoilia was photographed in alcohol. In dry air it looks fairly indistinct, but change the refractive index of the medium it sits in and WHAM - the colors just jump right out. Fascinating stuff.

Great specimen John! I like the idea of changing refractive index of the media in this case alcohol... are there other media that you have used... have you tried anti freeze glycol?

I will be starting a new thread on this topic....

Peter

Edited by pleecan

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JohnJ

Great pics everyone! I figure I should add one of my own. This Leanchoilia was photographed in alcohol. In dry air it looks fairly indistinct, but change the refractive index of the medium it sits in and WHAM - the colors just jump right out. Fascinating stuff.

Excellent photo and technique, John!

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palaeopix

Wow excellent photo, of Leanchoilia superlata, John!

I wish I had been able to use the immersion technique but I was in the field and had only water on hand.

Thanks for showing us.

Dan

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John

Wow excellent photo, of Leanchoilia superlata, John!

I wish I had been able to use the immersion technique but I was in the field and had only water on hand.

Thanks for showing us.

Dan

Burgess stuff is especially resistant to chemicals due to the high silica content of the rock and the aluminosilicate nature of the preservational style. Xylene, acetone and even isopropyl alcohol don't hurt the fossil, but often produce spectacular photographs.

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palaeopix

Burgess stuff is especially resistant to chemicals due to the high silica content of the rock and the aluminosilicate nature of the preservational style. Xylene, acetone and even isopropyl alcohol don't hurt the fossil, but often produce spectacular photographs.

I agree with you completely on your assessment of the usefulness of Xylene, acetone and isoprpyl alcohol in photographing fossils from the Burgess Shale. These liquids have a long history of use because their refractive indexes often help discern specimens or structures that are hidden under normal viewing conditions (i.e. dry specimen in daylight or tungsten lighting).

Dan

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Plantguy

Hey Dan, amazing photos of some really amazing early creatures! How fortunate to have seen that material in the field! Softbodied details are stunning. Are some of those pyritized as well? That Leanchoilia superlata you mentioned---I think I have the right name--looked a little brassy colored? Thanks for sharing the memories! Incredible stuff! Regards, Chris

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palaeopix

Hey Dan, amazing photos of some really amazing early creatures! How fortunate to have seen that material in the field! Softbodied details are stunning. Are some of those pyritized as well? That Leanchoilia superlata you mentioned---I think I have the right name--looked a little brassy colored? Thanks for sharing the memories! Incredible stuff! Regards, Chris

Hey Chris,

as far as I know the brassy coloured specimens are not pyritized but I could be wrong. I have sent a query off to Jean-Bernard Caron of the Royal Ontario Museum regarding this question. If any one knows the answer it will certainly be him.

Dan

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palaeopix

Hey Chris,

as far as I know the brassy coloured specimens are not pyritized but I could be wrong. I have sent a query off to Jean-Bernard Caron of the Royal Ontario Museum regarding this question. If any one knows the answer it will certainly be him.

Dan

I've received a response from the Royal Ontario Museum regarding the "brassy coloured specimens" from the Burgess Shale. It turns out I was incorrect about the presence of pyrite and its role in preservation of the fossils at the Burgess Shale. Anyway, Martin Smith of the Paleobiology Section of the Natural History Department at the ROM was kind enough to provide the following information.

"Most of the specimens in the Burgess are preserved as a carbon film; this gives the grey-black colour. There can be some variation in this; as the rocks weather, the matrix fades from black to grey/orangish, and the black carbon becomes less bold. Sometimes the carbon will form a template on which aluminosilicate minerals will grow; this can also make the black colour less obvious. You are right to notice a golden colour in some specimens; orange/gold colour typically results from the presence of iron, which turns rust-orange as it oxidises. Iron is often present in small quantities within the rock as pyrite, and can also be deposited/redeposited from groundwater. Chemical differences within the fossils themselves can also cause preservational differences, most famously in the midgut glands of Leanchoilia, which are preserved as dark phosphate - probably as a result of rapid mineralization of the chemicals present in the gut glands whilst the organism was alive."

Martin suggested the following link for more information on the subject: http://en.wikipedia....pe_Preservation

I wish to thank Martin for his response to this topic. Furthermore, Martin was kind enough to send me copies of two papers that deal specifically with preservational mechanisms at the Burgess Shale.

Dan

Edited by palaeopix

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pleecan

Thanks very much Dan for the follow up... the folks at the ROM are indeed a helpful bunch.

PL

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Plantguy

I've received a response from the Royal Ontario Museum regarding the "brassy coloured specimens" from the Burgess Shale. It turns out I was incorrect about the presence of pyrite and its role in preservation of the fossils at the Burgess Shale. Anyway, Martin Smith of the Paleobiology Section of the Natural History Department at the ROM was kind enough to provide the following information.

"Most of the specimens in the Burgess are preserved as a carbon film; this gives the grey-black colour. There can be some variation in this; as the rocks weather, the matrix fades from black to grey/orangish, and the black carbon becomes less bold. Sometimes the carbon will form a template on which aluminosilicate minerals will grow; this can also make the black colour less obvious. You are right to notice a golden colour in some specimens; orange/gold colour typically results from the presence of iron, which turns rust-orange as it oxidises. Iron is often present in small quantities within the rock as pyrite, and can also be deposited/redeposited from groundwater. Chemical differences within the fossils themselves can also cause preservational differences, most famously in the midgut glands of Leanchoilia, which are preserved as dark phosphate - probably as a result of rapid mineralization of the chemicals present in the gut glands whilst the organism was alive."

Martin suggested the following link for more information on the subject: http://en.wikipedia....pe_Preservation

I wish to thank Martin for his response to this topic. Furthermore, Martin was kind enough to send me copies of two papers that deal specifically with preservational mechanisms at the Burgess Shale.

Dan

Hey Dan, yes, thanks for the followup and additional info! That wikpedia article does have a good bit of info within it. Appreciate both you and Martin sharing knowledge and providing enlightenment!! Regards, Chris

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Nandomas

Sorry :blush: if my pics are not sharp like Paleopix's photos, but the TYRREL Museum was very dark :blink: :blink:

Margaretia dorus & Pikaia

post-1112-044931800 1291851813_thumb.jpg

post-1112-087896800 1291851947_thumb.jpg

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Nandomas

Great topic Dan :)

Mount Stephen quarry ;)

post-1112-087097700 1291852323_thumb.jpg

Edited by Nandomas

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palaeopix

Thanks for sharing your Burgess Shale and Mount Stephen photos Nando!

Dan

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Markovic

:blink: :blink: :blink:

Dan,

these photos are fascinating! Many of these groups are probably now extinct. On the other side, other hold valuable informations on evolutionary history of recent groups of organisms.

M

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palaeopix

So I've been waiting for permission from the ROM to show some of their amazing photos of the Burgess Shale here on the Forum, but it seems they've forgotten about me! Fortunately, I've been given permission by fellow Forum member Matt Devereux to use some of his photos instead! Matt also pointed me to some other great Burgess Shale photos that I'll show now. So I'd like to thank Matt for his generosity in allowing me to share these photos.

Back in 2009 I visited the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Alberta which was holding a small exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of Charles Walcott's discovery of the Burgess Shale. At the exhibit was a fantastic complete specimen of Anomalocaris canadensis, but as luck had it I had no camera with me to take a photo (I'm not sure you can even take photos in the museum). The following photo is of that very specimen and was taken by Des Collins of the ROM. The specimen was discovered by Jim Rockwood.

post-2629-0-41475900-1295668894_thumb.jpg

And here is a photo of an exceptionally preserved Anomalocaris head complete with raptorial appendages, oral apparatus and eye stalks. This photo was also taken by Des Collins but I understand that Matt discovered the specimen!

post-2629-0-51339900-1295669038_thumb.jpg

Next is another photo by Des Collins, this time of the fairly rare creature Opabinia regalis.

post-2629-0-88295300-1295669302_thumb.jpg

Here are some more of Des Collins' photos.

post-2629-0-36838900-1295669515_thumb.jpgpost-2629-0-39856200-1295669533_thumb.jpgpost-2629-0-00276200-1295669514_thumb.jpg

From left to right: an icon of the Burgess Shale Marrella splendens, Naraoia compacta and Helmetia expansa.

And finally, two more of Des Collin's photos.

post-2629-0-60176200-1295669512_thumb.jpgpost-2629-0-45816700-1295670000_thumb.jpg

The first is Canadia spinosa and the second is a closeup of Ottoia prolifica about to pass a hyolithid (Hyolithes carinatus)!

In the next post I'll show some photos that Matt took!

Edited by palaeopix

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palaeopix

Next I'd like to show five photos taken by Matt Devereux.

The first is a photo of an exceptional Ottoia prolifica being held by Des Collins.

post-2629-0-98991900-1295671245_thumb.jpg

Next up are two photos of Burgessia bella.

post-2629-0-49708700-1295671222_thumb.jpgpost-2629-0-01928100-1295671224_thumb.jpg

Both are submerged in water but in the second photo a polarizing filter was used on the camera lens.

And finally, two photos of the brachiopod Micromitra burgessensis.

post-2629-0-52412000-1295671237_thumb.jpgpost-2629-0-33958400-1295671239_thumb.jpg

It looks like the second photo is also the result of using a polarizing filter.

My next post will show some field photos!

Edited by palaeopix

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palaeopix

So here are some field photos taken at the Burgess Shale. Photo credits are next to each photo.

post-2629-0-95602200-1295672621_thumb.jpg Pointing to the Burgess Shale site. Photo by Des Collins.

post-2629-0-66496300-1295672562_thumb.jpg Crew setting up base camp in the meadow below the quarry sites. Photo by Des Collins.

post-2629-0-61106400-1295672586_thumb.jpg Des Collins being filmed for The Nature of Things episode on the Burgess Shale. Photographer unknown.

post-2629-0-52401100-1295672620_thumb.jpg Splitting Shale in the Raymond Quarry. That's Matt Devereux in the red shirt. Photo by Des Collins.

post-2629-0-86229800-1295672604_thumb.jpg Matt Devereux and Jim Rockwood after a few days in the field. Photo by Kevin Brett.

post-2629-0-51061900-1295672543_thumb.jpg The 1997 field crew. Photographer unknown.

Thanks again to Matt for showing me these great photos and allowing me to share them here!

Dan

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piranha

Magnificent Dan! Thanks for another amazing thread. B)

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Nandomas

post-2629-0-41475900-1295668894_thumb.jpg

PaleoPix, thanks to share. All photos are awesome, but Anomalocaris specimen is SUPERB!!!! :) :) :)

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pleecan

Thanks Dan and Matt for sharing those amazing photos of Burgess.... the Cambrian creatures are wonderful and bizarre looking....

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Auspex

I may never reach satiation, but of all the things I've found written about the Burgess Shale, this thread is the most satisfying!

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Kosmoceras

Wow!

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