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Posts Tagged "Ediacaran"

The Artful Amoeba

Two-Billion-Year-Old Fossils Reveal Strange and Puzzling Forms


To a human, two billion years is an unfathomable interval. But that, a team of European, Gabonese, and American scientists now say, is how long ago a recently discovered hoard of fossils suggests Earth’s first big life evolved — large enough to see with the naked eye, and in a spectrum of forms that tease [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Funnel-Shaped Animals Invented Reefs Prior to Cambrian Explosion

Ediacaran reef Penny et al 2014 Fig 2 closeup_200

Scientists have long thought of the Cambrian Explosion 541 million years ago as the flowering of complex life on Earth. Strangely shaped, large soft-bodied organisms were known to have lived in the period just prior — the Ediacaran — but they made few hard parts and scientists have debated whether any or how many were [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Were Weirdo Ediacarans Really Lichens, Fungi, and Slime Molds?


Does these look like lichens to you? According to Gregory Retallack, they should. Yesterday, Nature published an article by Retallack that makes a radical claim: the Ediacaran Biota (635-542 mya) of bizarre creatures that preceded the Cambrian Explosion were not pneumatic semi-mobile marine animals, but instead sessile land-dwelling lichens and protists living high and very [...]

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