Pre-Cambrian Fossils - Shop


ediacara

PRE-CAMBRIAN LIFE

It is not known when life originated, but well-preserved bacteria older than 3.43 billion years have been found in Western Australia and there is a fairly solid record of bacterial life throughout the remainder of the Precambrian.

Excluding a few contested reports of much older forms from USA and India, the first complex multicellular life forms seem to have appeared roughly 600 Ma. The oldest fossil evidence of complex life comes from the Lantian formation, at least 580 million years ago. A quite diverse collection of soft-bodied forms is known from a variety of locations worldwide between 542 and 600 Ma. These are referred to as Ediacaran or Vendian biota. Hard-shelled creatures appeared toward the end of that time span. By the middle of the later Cambrian period a very diverse fauna is recorded in the Burgess Shale, including some which may represent stem groups of modern taxa. The rapid radiation of lifeforms during the early Cambrian is called the Cambrian explosion of life.


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