OFF TO A WORLD BEFORE TIME (WELL, ALMOST, AND PERHAPS)
June 1, 2012 § 2 Comments
I am off to Vancouver to give the Milton K Wong lecture on Sunday. After that I’m off for a drive from Banff to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway, one of the ’50 great drives of the world’, (the weather, unfortunately is currently set to be less great than the landscape).
What I really want to do, however, is to visit the Burgess Shale, possibly the most important fossil field in the world, and among the oldest – it is from the Middle Cambrian period, around 500 million years ago. The weird and wonderful creatures, including the trilobites pictured here, were buried in an underwater avalanche of fine mud that preserved exceptionally fine details of the structure of their soft parts. It is a protected site, to which the public have access only through guided hikes. Unfortunately, these begin only in July. The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation has been very helpful and suggested it might be possible to attach ourselves to a special out-of-season hike if one is available. Fingers crossed.
I will see about posting a transcript of my talk next week. But there is likely to be less blogging and tweeting over the next couple of weeks.
One housekeeping point: comments are normally not moderated on Pandaemonium, but they will be while I am away to avoid any problems I cannot easily sort out. So, my apologies if your comments take a bit longer to be posted.