National Geographic : 1998 Apr
"So much rock, so little time," sighs Australian paleontologist Jim Geh ling (below, at right). Scanning the rough mosaic of 550-million-year old sandstone that paves southern Namibia, Gehling noticed promising traces on a cracked slab. A gentle nudge with a pry bar (right) revealed a tangle of the bizarre three-bladed organisms called Pteridinium (below). Many Namibian fossils are preserved in three dimensions, un like the flattened impressions found elsewhere. "To understand these enigmatic creatures," Gehling says, "we have to study them in as many geological settings as possible."