Burgess Shale of Canada and Chengjiang,
in Yunnan Province, China are the best known Lagerstatte of
Cambrian time Both
sites have a great diversity of benthic or burrowing creatures.
Less well known is that the western state of Utah has similar
fauna of the Cambrian
Explosion. Interestingly, some scientists believe that
a larger number of species are found in the Weeks,
Wheeler and Marjum Formations within the House Range in Utah
than in the Burgess Shale, though the fossils are far less
abundant and not as well preserved. Even fewer are collected
simply because collectors usual do not recognize them as fossils.
the Cambrian, what is now Utah was part of the continent of
Laurentia that now encompasses what is now North America.
Cambrian outcrops bearing well preserved biota of the Cambrian
Explosion are found in Utah, Western Canada and California,
among others. Warm shallow seas covered Utah itself, a perfect
environment for fine sediments to rapidly bury a diverse and
exploding faunal assemblage of marine organisms.
Middle Cambrian Wheeler,
Marjum and Weeks Formations are exposed within the House
Range west of Delta, Utah. Both formations are famous for
and other shelly fossils, but also contain a rich diversity
of fossils of soft-bodied animals of the Cambrian Explosion,
some of which from these and other Utah locations are shown