Was there a massive Orthoceras die off?

How is it possible this entire rock is fossils of the same creatures? Was there a massive die off? If so when? And what caused it?

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1 Answer

  • 8 months ago

    I cannot define a time frame from a single rock sample, and time frame is important when discussing the reason for a large density of fossils in a rock unit.  If the rock unit formed in a very short time period, that would impose a catastrophic death rate, but if the unit represents a long time period, it could easily just be the number of animals that died over that long time period.

    Typically, when there is a high percentage of fossils in a sediment, it is because the sediment was deposited in a region lacking in a good source of detrital materials.  Basically, the only solids (or at least the bulk of the solids) ending up on the sea floor are the shelly remains of local sea life in such a situation.  And it does turn out that life tends to thrive in clear waters where detrital inputs are small.

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