Lagerstätten is German for "motherload", or what would be known today as a "Jackpot"!! To any scientist this site is indeed a jackpot, not for the quantity of fossils but for the quality of preservation, that is, the detail preserved. This type of deposit is also known as a Conservation Deposit (Briggs et. al., 1990). The quantity of information obtained from the fossils preserved at this site is enormous due mainly to the exquisite detail of the fossils. This quantity of information obtained has little to do with the number of new fossil discoveries, although several have been made, as there has been a large haitus between fossil discoveries. When an organism was preserved in this limestone, not only was the full skeleton preserved, but also the very fine details of soft body parts, such as delicate membranes, skin and feathers. The fossils at this site have been known since the Stone Ages, and because of their exquisite detail were used as magical amulets in religious ceremonies.

To examine a Lagerstätten that is located in Canada, return to the HVPM to view the Burgess Shale and the Cambrian Explosion after you are finished here.