On August 30, 1909, American paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott discovered the Burgess Shale Formation, located in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia. With its Cambrian fossils the Burgess Shale is one of the world's most celebrated fossil fields. Walcott excavated repeatedly to collect more than 65,000 specimens from what is now known as the Walcott Quarry, named after him.
Paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott, then head of the Smithsonian, discovered the fossil-rich Burgess Shale in 1909. He collected over 65,000 specimens of the strange, rare, and exquisitely preserved sea-dwelling organisms. These soft-bodied invertebrates flourished in the Cambrian age, 505 MYA.
In her article in the fall 2015 Utah Historical Quarterly, Susan Rhoades Neel, an associate professor of history at Utah State University tells the bittersweet story of Earl and Pearl Douglass. Earl Douglass worked his way from a meager Minnesota childhood to become a scientist for the Carnegie Museum and discover, in 1909, the deposit of fossils that would …
"Discover the Burgess Shale: In 1909 Charles Doolittle Walcott discovered one of the most important fossil locations in the world, the Burgess Shale, on the southwest side of a ridge between Mt. Field and Wapta Mountain, in Yoho National Park [British Columbia]. The Burgess Shale provides an amazing window into what the world looked like half-a-billion years ago." Click through for details and photos from this astonishing site.