Des Collins, Paleontologist: The Burgess Shale


As a paleontologist, Des Collins wants to look back into deep time to study the Cambrian explosion. He studies fossils from the Burgess Shale in Canada. He describes the excitement and difficulty of putting together an entire fossil Anomalacaris.

Next Generation Science Standards for this Video

Anomalocaris is extinct, so paleontologists like Des Collins study fossil specimens.

Des Collins describes how long it took for him to discover the true nature of the fossil animal Anomalocaris and the mistakes he made along the way.

Paleontologists study the fossils of the Cambrian explosion and conclude that it was one of the most significant moments in animal evolution.

Des Collins describes how it sometimes takes years and many mistakes to piece together an entire fossil animal.

Scientist in this video

You just never know what you’re going to find. The excitement is finding something completely different. And even more exciting, at least to me, is finding something you’re looking for.“--Des Collins