Want the answer to life, the universe and everything?

Posted: November 28, 2011 - 12:49 , by royal
Collections, Natural History, Technology | Comments () | Comment

Well, at least, some serious insight into life on Earth…

Where do we come from? What was the world like long before the dinosaurs?

The world-renowned Burgess Shale, located in Yoho National Park, BC, helps us answers these questions. High up in the Rocky Mountains, scientists have spent over 100 years collecting, cataloguing and studying some of the world’s most spectacularly preserved fossilized remains of soft-bodied organisms from the Cambrian explosion, a period of rapid diversification of animal life on Earth 500 million years ago. Many of today’s animals, including snails, sea stars, crabs, and, remarkably, modern mammals, can trace their roots to this unique period in time.

A black and white image of fossil

A fossil of Marrella splendens, collected in the Burgess Shale, in Yoho National Park, BC.

On Thursday, December 1st, the ROM and Parks Canada launch the Burgess Shale online exhibition, as part of the Virtual Museum of Canada. Considered the most current and comprehensive resource for knowledge on the Burgess Shale, the website provides, for the first time ever, an immersive journey into the world of the bizarre prehistoric creatures that formed the foundation for all animal life on Earth half a billion years ago.

Image of early life creature

Digital reconstruction of what Marrella splendens might have looked like in life.

Join us from 11 am to noon EST as we live blog from the official launch of the Virtual Museum of Canada Burgess Shale exhibition. Experience this sleek and innovative online exhibit with interpretations by Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron, ROM Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology, Alex Kolesch, Parks Canada and Jacques Lavoie, ROM Educator.

Have any questions about the Burgess Shale? Tweet using hashtag #VMC_BurgessShale and Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron will respond.

Here’s a sneak peek into the Virtual Museum of Canada Burgess Shale exhibition, available for everyone on December 1st.