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Topic: Human Track in Shale

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Human Track in Shale

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On June 1, 1968, an amateur rock hunter, William J. Meister, of Kearns, Utah was visiting nearby Antelope Springs with his family. The area, which includes the Swasey Mountains and the Cambrian Wheeler shale formation, is famous for its many fossils. Meister broke off a rock slab, and, tapping its edge with a hammer, it fell open in two pieces, like the leaves of a book. To his astonishment, inside was a human sandal print, pointed in the toes, rounded in the heel, and with a squashed trilobite in the center of the sole. This particular find was later examined by Dr. Hellmut H. Doelling, of the Utah Geological Survey, and he found no irregularities or evidence of fakery - the print was genuine.
 
On July 20th, Meister returned to Antelope Springs with professional geologist Dr. Clifford Burdick. Digging in the same locality, Burdick discovered another imprint in the Cambrian shale, this time of a child. Burdick managed to find a larger fossil imprint, like Meister's original, though the impression was shallower, and also unearthed a second child's track, smaller than the first, with the toes broken off, but perfect in its other aspects. Later, a detailed examination revealed that the rock in which the prints were found was made of tiny layers, and where the foot-marks occur, the layers were bowed downward from the horizontal - demonstrating that weight had indeed, been pressed into the once prehistoric mud.
 
But that prehistoric mud with its tell-tale prints is now Cambrian shale - an astonishing 600 million years old. And the fossils in the prints are trilobites - supposed to be among the earliest forms of life on earth.
 


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