The late Ordovician Soom Shale Lagerstȁtte: an extraordinary post-glacial fossil and sedimentary record

first_imgFossils of the Late Ordovician Soom Shale Lagerstätte are characterized by exceptional preservation of their soft tissues in clay minerals. The low-diversity community lived in an unusual cold-water setting, dominated by anoxic bottom waters, in the immediate aftermath of the Hirnantian glaciation. Giant conodonts represented by complete tooth sets, and one with trunk musculature and liver preserved, unarmoured jawless fish, lobopods and enigmatic taxa are some of the more important fossils. Furthermore, this Lagerstätte also preserves biomineralized Ordovician taxa such as brachiopods, orthoconic nautiloids and trilobites. It is important in capturing the only known examples of many taxa, extending temporal ranges of others and providing a unique glimpse of a post-glacial refugium, at a time when other Lagerstätten are unknown.last_img read more

Debate over controversial gay marriage bill rages

first_imgONE News 29 Aug 2012Debate over a controversial same sex-marriage bill is raging, prior to the first reading of Labour MP Louisa Wall’s private members bill at parliment today.This morning, Wall debated her bill, which proposes that all New Zealanders be able to marry regardless of their sexual orientation, with National Director of Family First Bob McCoskrie on TV ONE’s Breakfast.Wall said not allowing same-sex couples to marry is a form of discrimination.“This is about the privilege of marriage… for members of our community I think that the question is should the state be discriminating against New Zealand citizens?”“Only the state can give out marriage licences…and essentially my bill will say that the state shouldn’t be able to discriminate,” commented Wall.Wall also said that her bill would not impact the Church’s principles on marriage.“[The bill] will preserve the rights of our churches to discriminate, because under the Bill of Rights we have freedom of religion.”“My bill isn’t going to affect how our churches define marriage; it won’t oblige a minister to marry a same sex couple,” said Wall.However, McCroskrie said that marriage as an institution has always been discriminatory because “nature is discriminating”. “Equality is not sameness, and I think we have to understand that marriage is reflecting the relationship between a man and woman, because only a man and a woman can produce a child…so nature itself is discriminating,” he said. “Same sex couples have recognition as it stands, and we don’t need to attack marriage to achieve that.“We are simply saying that marriage does not need to be re-defined.”“Once you change the definition of marriage once, what stops you changing it again. If you take away the regulation of gender, why not take the regulation of number. When will the amendment be introduced to allow polygamy?” read more