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Latest Cambrian explosion Stories

Ediacaran Fossils A 'First-class Scientific Mystery'
2012-12-13 08:50:07

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Mysterious multicellular fossils believed to be ancient sea creatures may actually be some of the earliest land-dwelling organisms, according to a paper published online on Wednesday in the journal Nature. The controversial hypothesis has been fiercely criticized, with some paleontologists flatly rejecting the idea, but if true, the finding would push back life's transition from sea to land by as much as 100 million years or more....

Cambrian Explosion Trigger Found In Grand Canyon
2012-04-20 04:50:27

Millions of years ago, the creatures who would become the ancestors of all life, animals and humans alike, were simple, sometimes composed of individual cells. Evolution had been slow, with very little diversification. Then, as the waters began to shift and separate exposing new areas of land to air and daylight, this slow evolution began to explode into activity. Referred to as the Cambrian Explosion, this diversification is estimated to have taken several million years itself, breeding many...

Image 1 - Researchers Track Half-billion Year Old Predator
2011-11-09 08:57:09

Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan and Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) have followed fossilized footprints to a multi-legged predator that ruled the seas of the Cambrian period about half a billion years ago. "Short of finding an animal at the end of its trackway, it's really very rare to be able to identify the producer so confidently," said Nicholas Minter, lead author of the article on the study, which appears in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Minter...

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2011-06-30 13:35:00

Paleontologists have discovered 515-million-year-old fossils which show that ancient animals had excellent vision and could even see in the dark, reports the Telegraph. An international team of scientists led by the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide found the fossils, which look like "squashed eyes from a recently swatted fly," on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Researchers said the eyes have more than 3,000 lenses, making them more powerful than any known eye fossil...

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2011-05-26 06:20:00

Ancient sea creatures, that were the largest predators for millions of years, grew even larger and survived much longer than previously thought, according to paleontologists who discovered well-preserved fossils in Morocco. The creatures, known as anomalocaridids, ranged in size from 2 to as much as 6 feet long. They had soft-jointed bodies and toothy maws with spiny limbs in front to catch their prey, scientists described in a paper published by the journal Nature. "They were really at the...

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2010-12-20 06:20:00

Life on Earth began to flourish about 3 billion years ago, possibly when primitive forms developed efficient ways to harness energy from the Sun's light, according to a new study published in the journal Nature on Sunday. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) built a "genomic fossil" -- a mathematical model that took 1,000 key genes that exist today -- and calculated how they evolved from the very distant past. The collective genome of all life expanded massively...

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2010-05-26 13:26:32

A study by researchers at the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum sheds new light on a previously unclassifiable 500 million-year-old squid-like carnivore known as Nectocaris pteryx. "We think that this extremely rare creature is an early ancestor of squids, octopuses, and other cephalopods", says Martin Smith of U of T's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and the Department of Natural History at the ROM.  "This is significant because it means that...

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2010-05-14 07:24:56

Paleontologists have discovered a rich array of exceptionally preserved fossils of marine animals that lived between 480 million and 472 million years ago, during the early part of a period known as the Ordovician. The specimens are the oldest yet discovered soft-bodied fossils from the Ordovician, a period marked by intense biodiversification. The findings, which appear in the May 13 issue of the journal Nature, greatly expand our understanding of the sea creatures and ecosystems that...

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2010-03-25 10:28:25

In the '80s, Spanish researchers found the first fossils of Cloudina in Spain, a small fossil of tubular appearance and one of the first animals that developed an external skeleton between 550 and 543 million years ago. Now paleontologists from the University of Extremadura have discovered a new species, Cloudina carinata, the fossil of which has preserved its tridimensional shape. "Cloudina carinata is characterized by its elaborate ornamentation and complexity of the shells and tube that...

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2009-07-09 06:00:00

The Earth has experienced many turning points over its 4.5-billion-year history, such as periods of extreme temperature changes, asteroids and the arrival and disappearance of various life forms.  But one of the most monumental events was the Cambrian-era explosion of life some 540 million years ago, when complex, multi-cellular life burst out all over the planet. Scientists point to this critical period as leading to life as we know it today, although its precise causes were not...