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Latest Cambrian Stories

Fossil of Haootia quadriformis
2014-08-28 03:00:26

Sarah Collins, University of Cambridge A new fossil discovery identifies the earliest evidence for animals with muscles. An unusual new fossil discovery of one of the earliest animals on earth may also provide the oldest evidence of muscle tissue – the bundles of cells that make movement in animals possible. The fossil, dating from 560 million years ago, was discovered in Newfoundland, Canada. On the basis of its four-fold symmetry, morphological characteristics, and what appear to...

Hallucigenia sparsa
2014-08-19 03:00:38

University of Cambridge One of the most bizarre-looking fossils ever found - a worm-like creature with legs, spikes and a head difficult to distinguish from its tail – has found its place in the evolutionary Tree of Life, definitively linking it with a group of modern animals for the first time. The animal, known as Hallucigenia due to its otherworldly appearance, had been considered an ‘evolutionary misfit’ as it was not clear how it related to modern animal groups. Researchers...

paleontological reconstruction of rangeomorph fronds
2014-08-13 04:00:43

University of Cambridge New three-dimensional reconstructions show how some of the earliest animals on Earth developed, and provide some answers as to why they went extinct. A bizarre group of uniquely shaped organisms known as rangeomorphs may have been some of the earliest animals to appear on Earth, uniquely suited to ocean conditions 575 million years ago. A new model devised by researchers at the University of Cambridge has resolved many of the mysteries around the structure,...

Researchers Find Rare Fossilized Embryos More Than 500 Million Years Old
2014-04-11 13:06:23

Jeff Sossamon, University of Missouri The Cambrian Period is a time when most phyla of marine invertebrates first appeared in the fossil record. Also dubbed the “Cambrian explosion,” fossilized records from this time provide glimpses into evolutionary biology when the world’s ecosystems rapidly changed and diversified. Most fossils show the organisms’ skeletal structure, which may or may not give researchers accurate pictures of these prehistoric organisms. Now, researchers at the...

artists reconstruction of Tamisiocaris borealis
2014-03-27 09:19:17

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Several large marine animals have evolved from fearsome predators to become gentle giants that use filtering appendages to ingest food, and new research from a team of European researchers has revealed a similar evolution in a group of predators that roamed the oceans 520 million years ago during the Early Cambrian. According to the team’s report in the journal Nature, an early arthropod called Tamisiocaris borealis used large curly...

Evolution Remained Stuck In Slime For A Billion Years
2014-02-19 15:18:39

Science in Public Tasmanian researchers have revealed ancient conditions that almost ended life on Earth, using a new technique they developed to hunt for mineral deposits. The first life developed in the ancient oceans around 3.6 billion years ago, but then nothing much happened. Life remained as little more than a layer of slime for a billion years. Suddenly, 550 million years ago, evolution burst back into action – and here we are today. So what was the hold-up during those 'boring...

2014-02-12 20:21:31

SEATTLE, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A spectacular new discovery of Cambrian animal fossils has intensified a source of doubt that troubled Darwin about his theory, according to scientific researchers at Discovery Institute. About 26 miles from the famous Walcott quarry, a new exposure of Burgess Shale fossils has come to light. Called the Marble Canyon quarry, this fossil assemblage, reported in Scientific American, Nature Communications, and elsewhere, appears to be...

Bigger Really Was Better For Early Prehistoric Life
2014-01-24 14:38:14

[ Watch the Video: The Evolution of the World’s Oldest Fossil Communities ] University of Toronto A NASA research group featuring University of Toronto Mississauga professor Marc Laflamme has helped to explain why some prehistoric organisms evolved into larger animals. Laflamme, an assistant professor with the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Node of NASA's Astrobiology Institute suggest that height...

Signs Of Ancient Bacterial Ecosystems Found In Australia
2013-11-13 05:44:54

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists trying to reconstruct the rise of life during the period of Earth's history when it first evolved find the task daunting because the planet's oldest sedimentary rocks are not only rare, but nearly always altered by hydrothermal and tectonic activity. A new study, published in the journal Astrobiology, reveals the well-preserved remnants of a complex ecosystem in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old sedimentary rock sequence in...

Oxygen Levels Prior To The Cambrian Explosion May Have Been Enough For Life
2013-10-19 05:00:29

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online An international team of researchers has discovered that the Earth’s oxygen content 2.1 billion years ago was the same as it was during the so-called Cambrian explosion that occurred approximately 542 years ago and resulted in the appearance of most major animal phyla. Given the fact that oxygen and the development of advanced life are inextricably linked, this led the study authors to ponder the sudden emergence of living...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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