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Latest Cambrian explosion Stories

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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...

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2008-11-21 08:15:00

Groove-like tracks on the ocean floor made by giant deep-sea single-celled organisms could lead to new insights into the evolutionary origin of animals, says biologist Mikhail "Misha" Matz from The University of Texas at Austin. Matz and his colleagues recently discovered the grape-sized protists and their complex tracks on the ocean floor near the Bahamas. This is the first time a single-celled organism has been shown to make such animal-like traces. The finding is significant, because...

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2008-11-13 10:45:00

Scientists from the universities of Leicester and Cambridge and from the British Geological Survey have published new research in the journal Geology this month (November) shedding new light on a 500-million year old mystery. The 500 million year-old fossils of the Burgess Shale in Canada, discovered over a century ago, still provide one of the most remarkable insights into the dawn of animal life. The beautiful silvery fossils show the true nature of the life of that time, just after the...

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2008-10-05 16:40:00

The fossilized trail of an aquatic creature suggests that animals walked using legs at least 30 million years earlier than had been thought. The tracks -- two parallel rows of small dots, each about 2 millimeters in diameter -- date back some 570 million years, to the Ediacaran period. The Ediacaran preceded the Cambrian period, the time when most major groups of animals first evolved. Scientists once thought that it was primarily microbes and simple multicellular animals that existed prior...

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2008-02-19 09:00:00

Geologists at the University of Leicester have solved a puzzle found in rocks half a billion years old. Some of the most important fossil beds in the world are the Burgess Shales in the Canadian Rockies. Once an ancient sea bed, they were formed shortly after life suddenly became more complex and diverse "“ the so-called Cambrian explosion "“ and are of immense scientific interest. Normally, only hard parts of ancient animals became fossilized; the bones, teeth or shells. Soft...

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2008-01-09 15:35:35

New Haven, Conn. -- Discovery of an exceptional fossil specimen in southeastern Morocco that preserves evidence of the animal's soft tissues has solved a paleontological puzzle about the origins of an extinct group of bizarre slug-like animals with rows of mineralized armor plates on their backs, according to a paper in Nature. While evolution has produced great diversity in the body designs of animals, over the course of history several highly distinct groups, such as trilobites and...

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2008-01-08 15:55:00

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Scientists have known for some time that most major groups of complex animals appeared in the fossils record during the Cambrian Explosion, a seemingly rapid evolutionary event that occurred 542 million years ago. Now Virginia Tech paleontologists, using rigorous analytical methods, have identified another explosive evolutionary event that occurred about 33 million years earlier among macroscopic life forms unrelated to the Cambrian animals. They dubbed this earlier event...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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