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Member Lecture: Life 512 Million Years Ago In Lancaster & York Counties

October 27, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Lancaster County on the ocean floor? It was indeed, 512 million years ago, according to Dr. Roger Thomas, professor emeritus of paleontology at Franklin & Marshall College. On Thursday, October 27 at 6 p.m., Dr. Thomas will present a lecture on life forms as they were 512 million years ago, on the seafloor of the ocean Papetus, in the region now occupied by Lancaster and York Counties. This lecture is free and open to the public.

To RSVP, call (717) 358-3941 or click here.

Dr. Thomas will be joined by Chris Haefner, whose 21st century fossil-digging in York County scored a major discovery – in the words of one paleontologist, “a totally new member of the tree of life that takes us to the early evolution of complex life.” The fossil, which Haefner donated to the collection of London’s Natural History Museum, is a relative of today’s starfish and sea urchins and may be the creature that began the starfish family of life on earth.
Haefner and his mentor Dr. Thomas will share the significance of the discovery which was made in a stretch of limestone and shale that runs from western York County into eastern Lancaster County. Named for its place of origin and its discoverer, Yorkicystis haefneri was unearthed in 2015 in one of the world’s most fertile hunting grounds for fossils from the early Cambrian period, 500 million years ago, when life on this planet was in its genesis. Researchers from the US and United Kingdom collectively indicate that the fossil represents “one of the earliest complex life forms scientists have found. It is highly unique, new to science.”

Lectures like this one are one of many complimentary benefits North Museum members receive. For more information on membership contact Christine Weaver at cweaver@northmuseum.org or click here.

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October 27, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


North Museum
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