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Posts Tagged "Ediacaran"

The Artful Amoeba

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

2byo_fossils_fig_3_el_albani_et_al_2014_200

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?

tribrachidium_wiki_cc_aleksey_nagovitsyn_200

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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