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> The Importance of Mazon Creek Fossils

The Importance of Mazon Creek Fossils

The quality and diversity of fossils recovered in the Mazon Creek nodules makes these localities important worldwide. In most fossil deposits only the hard parts of organisms (shells, bones, teeth, etc.) are preserved. This means that in most fossil deposits only animals that have hard parts are preserved.

Because of the unique conditions of fossilization, Mazon Creek fossils frequently have both hard and softer parts preserved. In addition, many soft-bodied organisms that do not usually fossilize are preserved.

These factors mean that the fossils from Mazon Creek provide scientists with an extraordinary view of biodiversity 300 million years ago.

The Mazon Creek deposit is an example of a Lagerstätten.

Copyright 2003, Illinois State Museum Society