Lagerstätten & Biota

Lagerstätten are fossil beds that contain particularly well preserved fossils.






Doushantuo Lagerstätte Neoproterozoic, Vendian South China phosphatized microbial pseudomorphs [1]: algal thalli, acritarchs, and globular microfossils interpreted as animal embryos [2] (peripatus)
Ancient Stromatolite Reefs Northern Canada possesses some of the best preserved examples of Proterozoic reefs and other carbonates anywhere in the world. .[Precambrian pinnacle reef, NWT ; Steep Rock Stromatolites]
Ediacara Biota, Ediacara, Australia Ediacara Hills (SA); White Sea (Russia); Mistaken Point Formation (Nfld, Canada); Charnwood Forest, UK; South America, Namibia, South China

Cambrian Lagerstätten

Sirius Passet Formation Early Cambrian, 515-520 Ma Greenland oldest of major Cambrian lagerstätten (peripatus)

Chengjiang Lagerstatte,


Lower Cambrian, 515 to 520 Ma Yunnan Province, China: Qiongzhusi Formation soft-tissue fossils of algae, medusiform metazoans, chondrophorines, sponges, chancelloriids, ctenophores, cnidarians, nematomorphs, priapulid worms, hyoliths, possible ectoprocts, inarticulate brachiopods, annelid-like animals, anomalocharidids, onychophorans, arthropods, occassional trilobites, echinoderms, ‘hemichordates’ and probable early chordates
Burgess Shale Middle Cambrian, 505 Ma BC, Canada
Wheeler Shale Middle Cambrian Utah, USA: House Range University of California, Berkeley, web page
Andrarum Limestone Middle Cambrian Sweden
'Orsten' Late Cambrian Sweden


Beecher’s Bed Early Ordovician Utica, NY state, USA
Soom Shale Late Ordovician Cape Province, South Africa [1] Soom Shale, South Africa


Much Wenlock Limestone Early Silurian Wales 600 species of well-preserved invertebrates: crinoids, corals, brachiopods, trilobites, algae and bryozoans
Ludford Lane Bonebed Early Silurian Shropshire, Welsh Borderlands oldest known terrestrial ecosystem : vascular plants, centipedes, kampecarid myriapods, arthropleurid, trigonotarbid, arthropod fragments
Fiddler’s Green Formation Early Silurian NY state, USA eurypterid beds
Waukesha [1] Early Silurian Llandovery-Wenlock Wisconsin, USA arthropods and conodonts [1]
Lesmahagow Middle Silurian Scotland arthropods and fish


Rhynie Chert Early Devonian Scotland hot spring deposits
Hunsrück Shale(Hunsrückschiefer) Early Devonian (Late Pragian to Early Esmian) Rhine and Moselle Valleys,
Gilboa Middle Devonian NY state, USA spiders and pseudoscorpions
Escuminac Bay Late Devonian (Early Frasnian) Eastern Canada anaspids, placoderms, and other fishes including Eusthenopteron
Canowindra Late Devonian NSW, Australia fish
Cleveland Shale Late Devonian (Fammenian), 360 Ma Ohio, USA vertebrate sharks
Gogo Formation Upper Devonian (Frasnian), 350 Ma The Kimberley, NW Australia placoderm fish


East Kirkton Early Carboniferous Scotland hot spring deposits; plants; arthropods (scorpions); amphibians and reptiles
Scottish ‘Shrimp Beds’ Early Carboniferous Scotland crustaceans, conodont animals, tomopterid worms, fish
Loch Humphrey Burn Early Carboniferous Southern Scotland terrestrial : several successive plant bearing horizons within a volcanic terrain
Mazon Creek Late Carboniferous Illinois, USA deltaic and near-shore marine
Karoo Late Carboniferous to Triassic Southern Africa rich mammal-like reptile fauna from the Beaufort Sandstone


Wellington Shale Early Permian Kansas, USA insects


Gres à Voltzia Triassic France deltaic deposits; terrestrial plants, insects, plus aquatic crustaceans and fish


Posidonia Shale Early Jurassic Germany
Posidonienschiefer, Holzmaden Early Jurassic Germany fossil reptiles - noteably ichthyosaurs, crustaceans, cephalopods
Karatau Jurassic South Kazakhstan insects, spiders, crocodiles, salamander, lizard, fish, pterosaurs, plants
Christian Malford Middle Jurassic England squids
Stonefield Slates Middle Jurassic Oxfordshire, England small mammal jaws and teeth
La Voulte-sur-Rhône Middle Jurassic (Lower Callovian) ~ 160 Ma Ardèche, France allochthonous benthic and nektobenthic, and in situ bivalve
Purbeck Beds Late Jurassic England insect fauna including dragonflies, locusts, grasshoppers, butterflies, ants and aphids
Morrison Formation Late Jurassic Wyoming and Colorado, USA
Solnhofen Limestone Late Jurassic(Lower Titonian) Germany fine-grained lagoonal sediments; most famous for the Archeopteryx and Compsognathus fossils


Santana Formation Cretaceous Brazil fossil fish and pterosaurs
Sierra de Montsech Cretaceous Spain fossil spiders, insects, crustaceans and vertebrates
Pierre Shale Cretaceous (Campanian) North Dakota, USA arthropods, vertebrates, including mosasaurs
Hajoula Limestone Cretaceous Lebanon fossil arthropods and fish

Liaoning Lagerstätte, Yixian Formation

Cretaceous (Barremian?), 120-150 Ma Liaoning Province, China: Yixian Formation true birds, dinosaurs, ‘feathered dinosaurs’
Las Hoyas Lower Cretaceous (Barremian), 121-127 Ma Cuenca, Spain rich terrestrial and freshwater assemblage of invertebrate and vertebrate trace fossils, early angiosperms, ferns, cycads, conifers, insects, birds, fish, crocodiles, a dinosaur, amphibians and lizards
Tlayúa Early Cretaceous, 100 Ma Mexico coral reef : fishes, foraminifera, sponges, gorgonids, bivalves, gastropods, belemnites, ammonites, echinoderms, crinoids, annelids, arthropods, arachnid, anispoterus, turtles, pleurosaurs, sphenodonts, lizards, crocodiles and pterosaurs


Green River Formation Eocene Wyoming, USA lacustrine fossil fish and other vertebrates
Monte Bolca Eocene, 52 Ma Italy tropical marine lagoon: fishes, plants, insects
Princeton Chert Middle Eocene, 49 mya BC, Canada permineralised flora
Grübe Messel Shale Eocene Germany lacustrine fossil plants, vertebrates and insects


Florissant formation Late Oligocene - Early Eocene Colorado, USA trees, plants, insects
Riversleigh Fossil Sites Late Oligocene (25ma) to Middle Miocene (10ma) to present Queensland, Australia mostly vertebrates, with a few snails and insects

Pliocene/ Pleistocene

Lake Turkana Pliocene/ Pleistocene, 4-0 Ma Lake Turkana Basin, Kenya, East Africa Australopithecus and Kenyanthropus, and Homo







Soom Shale

Karoo System

Lake Turkana, Kenya

Proterozoic (Vendian)

Late Ordovician

Late Carboniferous to Triassic

Pliocene/ Pleistocene, 4-0 Ma

Brazil Santana Formation Cretaceous

Ediacara Hills Biota, Ediacara, Australia

Gogo Formation


Proterozoic (Vendian)

Upper Devonian (Frasnian), 350 Ma

Late Devonian


Ancient Stromatolite Reefs

Mistaken Point Formation, Nfld.

Burgess Shale

Escuminac Bay


Proterozoic (Vendian)

Middle Cambrian, ~505 Ma

Late Devonian (Early Frasnian)


Doushantuo Formation

Chengjiang Lagerstätte

Jehol Group

Yixian Formation (Liaoning)

Proterozoic (Vendian)

Early Cambrian, 515-520 Ma

Early Cretaceous

Cretaceous (Barremian?)


Charnwood Forest Vendian Biota

Christian Malford

Stonefield Slates

Purbeck Beds

Proterozoic (Vendian)

Middle Jurassic

Middle Jurassic

Late Jurassic


Gres à Voltzia

La Voulte-sur-Rhône


Middle Jurassic (Lower Callovian) ~ 160 Ma


Hunsrück Shale (Hunsrückschiefer)

Posidonia Shale


Solnhofen Limestone

Grübe Messel Shale

Early Devonian (Late Pragian to Early Esmian)

Early Jurassic

Early Jurassic

Late Jurassic (Lower Titonian)


Greenland Sirius Passet Formation Early Cambrian, 515-520 Ma
Italy Monte Bolca (Mt. Bolca): Musei della Lessinia web page Eocene
Kazakhstan Karatau Jurassic
Lebanon Hajoula Limestone Cretaceous
Mexico Tlayúa Early Cretaceous, 100 Ma
Russia Vendian Biota, (White Sea) Proterozoic (Vendian)


Rhynie Chert

East Kirkton

Scottish ‘Shrimp Beds’

Loch Humphrey Burn

Middle Silurian

Early Devonian

Early Carboniferous

Early Carboniferous

Early Carboniferous

South America

Vendian Biota

Proterozoic (Vendian)

Sierra de Montsech

Las Hoyas


Lower Cretaceous (Barremian), 121-127 Ma


Andrarum Limestone

'Orsten' Beds

Middle Cambrian

Late Cambrian


Wheeler Shale

‘Beecher’s Bed’

Fiddler’s Green Formation



Cleveland Shale

Mazon Creek

Wellington Shale

Morrison Formation

Pierre Shale

Green River Formation

Middle Cambrian

Early Ordovician

Early Silurian, 425 Ma

Early Silurian

Middle Devonian

Late Devonian (Fammenian)

Late Carboniferous

Early Permian

Late Jurassic

Cretaceous (Campanian)



Much Wenlock Limestone Formation

Ludford Bonebeds

Early Silurian

Early Silurian

Also Dominican Amber :

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