A Book Report On A Wonderfull Life — страница 2

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British students whom he was the advisor. Later more expeditions were sent. A few of the scientist that worked and reexamined the Burgess Shale were Briggs, Conway Morris and Buton. Although they did not work as a team and looked at things completely separate they still read each others papers. This might be why a general conclusion was found. This conclusion was the Walcott was wrong in his original assumption s. These creatures were two complex to be related to present day horseshoe-crabs and so therefore did not belong in the same phylum as they were put. In fact they were placed in an entirely new phylum. Some creatures have a phylum entirely to themselves. So that had not were called unique anthropoids and a few were called soft bodied trilobite. This is how radically

different these organisms are. One of the major problems with Walcott s assumptions was that he had treated these fossils wrong. Usually a fossil is a two dimensional object the is an imprint of carbon on rock. The organisms are compressed because mud smashed them. This is how Walcott saw these fossils. So therefore he saw none of their external organs or soft parts. Well, in the sixties they came up with the idea that even though these fossils had been crushed their organs were probably still inside the rocks. Just like Christopher Loyd in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” a fossil can, after being crushed, be blown back up. This process has two approaches. There is a tool, much like that in a dentist office, that takes tiny layers of rocks off a big chunk. If this is done correctly

you can take of the top layer and see the insides of these organisms. Then keep on doing this process and you will be able to examine the entire specimen from head to toe. If this drill takes of two much you might have to pull away the rock grain by grain with a pair of tweezers. This three dimensional discovery lead to the realization that the Burgess Shale organisms where very complex and extremely different from previous beliefs. The main fact to remember is that not all fossils are three dimensional. A few leave just external imprints. This is how Walcott saw all of the organisms. In fact most of them are three dimensional but there is still a few that are not. The organism found in the Burgess shale were not only diverse in the sense of what we have seen in fossils before

but also for their time. This chunk of rock included organism that ranged in purpose and habitat by a great deal. A few of the organism including the oddity Anomalocaris, whose mouth was mistaken for an entirely different organism that Walcott called a jelly fish, swam in the open seas that covered Canada at that time. Other like Wiwaxia walked on the sea floor. Still plant life was found in the Burgess shale this odd plant lived at the ocean floor and resembles present day flowers. This organism is called Dinomischus. Still others didn t live as plants on the floor or walk like Wiwaxia. An animal called Opabinia crawled like a snake on the sea floor leaving an impressive track in its wake. Although there were 12,000 species found by Walcott, 800 by Whittington, and 200 by a man

named Raymond. Most of these species are known by under ten specimens. Still there are a few that can only be found in one fossil in the entire world. Those fossils are found in the Burgess Shale. That goes to make the Burgess one of the largest sites of rare organisms in the world. Also to have some of the rarest makes the Burgess shale all the more interesting. Although there were quite a number of specimens most of the reexamining of the fossils did not come from going out and digging by the actual scientists. Most of the revision occurred when scientists sat down in the Smithsonian (which Walcott was head of towards the end of his career) and looking at the fossils Walcott had found. An astonishing number of revisions were formed just by looking at Walcott s notes and dairy.

Just because Walcott miss named these fossils do not in any case mean that he is a failure as a scientist. Walcott just looked at these fossils from the only viewpoint he could, his own. How was he to know that there actually could be three dimensional fossils and not all of them are two dimensional. Walcott was not a failure as many people thought when the reexamination first came out. He wasn t out to find new ways of doing science or new theories. Walcott was really into the field work. This was something he loved and cherished. He loved being out in the great outdoors. I know that many scientific theories were made while doing field work, this was just something that Walcott wasn t interested in. So knowing this we see that Walcott was abiding by the rules of science during