Flecks of silver in poop of ancient Cambrian creature baffle scientists


Specks of silver were found in the fossilized feces of ancient worms living in the seafloor. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Researchers were baffled when they found shiny specks of silver in fossilized worm poop, because there is no known explanation for how the wiggly creatures could have made it.

The silver specks were found in coprolites, or fossilized feces, that were embedded in a lagerstätte — a deposit of exceptionally preserved fossils that sometimes includes fossilized soft tissues — in the Mackenzie Mountains in Canada. The ancient dung was produced by tiny worms that lived below the seafloor when the region was covered by an ocean during the Cambrian period, between 543 million years to 490 million years ago.



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