The Lancaster Museum will host a free lecture on prehistoric fossils discovered in central Pennsylvania.

Dr. Roger Thomas, Professor Emeritus of Paleontology at Franklin & Marshall College, will present a lecture on life forms as they existed 512 million years ago on the seafloor of the Papetus Ocean in the region today. now occupied by Lancaster and York counties.

The free event will take place at 6 p.m. on October 27 at the North Museum Planetarium, 400 College Ave., Lancaster.

Thomas will be joined by Chris Haefner, whose 21st century fossil digs in York County marked a major discovery – in the words of one paleontologist, “a totally new member of the tree of life that gives us leads to the early evolution of complex life.”

The fossil, which Haefner donated to the collection of the Natural History Museum in London, is a relative of today’s starfish and sea urchins and may be the creature that started the starfish family from life on earth.

Haefner and Thomas plan to share the significance of the find, which was made in a stretch of limestone and shale stretching from western York County to eastern Lancaster County. Named after 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 infancy, according to A press release.

Researchers from the US and UK collectively say the fossil represents “one of the earliest complex lifeforms scientists discovered. It’s quite unique, new to science.

More information is available at this link.

Interested in museum membership? If so, contact Christine Weaver at [email protected]

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