The Elements of Evolution (11) The Cambrian Explosion

The Cambrian Explosion

The Cambrian explosion established virtually all the major animal body forms that would exist thereafter, including many that became extinct. ~ English anthropologist Roger Lewin

Pannotia breaking up led to the abrupt disappearance of Ediacaran biota. The radiative revolution of the Cambrian (542–485 MYA) followed. It was facilitated by a surge in oxygen which incited animal evolution in shallow marine waters. Extreme fluctuations in oxygen during the Cambrian period alternately provoked dramatic diversifications and mass extinctions (during anoxic times).

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Discoveries pertinent to evolutionary biology have at first been typically interpreted within the conventional mindset of the day. Decades or generations may pass before reinterpretation, as Cambrian fossils exemplify.