There were only three Early Jurassic Konservat Lagerstätten known in the world until an incredible diversity of fossil marine life was discovered at the Parks Canada Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. A Konservat Lagerstätte is a deposit of exceptionally preserved fossils where soft body parts are fossilized. The Ya Ha Tinda site is the first marine Konservat-Lagerstätte described from the Jurassic Period in North America.
The Early Jurassic was an extremely stressful time for marine communities. Dr. Martindale’s research at the Ya Ha Tinda site gives us new insights into the diversity, ecology, and biogeography of marine communities during a time of significant biological and environmental change.
In this presentation, Dr. Rowan Martindale, University of Texas, Austin, TX, discusses the exceptional fossils at the Ya Ha Tinda site and the fossil record of community collapse during the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event, a major global extinction. An anoxic event refers to times in the deep past when parts of the Earth’s oceans were depleted of oxygen—devastating marine communities.