Ancient Records Prompt Rethink of Animal Evolution Timeline
Scientists are rethinking a major milestone in animal evolution, after gaining fresh insights into how life on Earth diversified millions of years ago.
Bursts of evolutionary activity that increased the number and variety of animals began earlier, occurred over a longer timeframe, and were more frequent than previously thought, researchers say.
Their findings challenge a long-held theory that suggests the huge expansion in the types of animals on the planet more than 500 million years ago was triggered by a single, rapid surge of evolution – known as the Cambrian Explosion.
Researchers conducting fieldwork in Namibia as part of a previous study
Credit: Rachel Wood
Until now, the Cambrian Explosion – which took place between 540 and 520 million years ago – was thought to have given rise to almost all the early ancestors of present-day animals.
Scientists say, however, that it was probably just one in a series of similar events, the first of which took place at least 571 million years ago during the late Ediacaran Period.
These bursts of evolutionary activity may have coincided with dramatic fluctuations in the levels of oxygen and essential nutrients in the oceans, the team says.
The review is published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. It was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council. The research also involved the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Helsinki, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, and Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada.
Professor Rachel Wood, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said: “Integrating data from the fossil record with that of environmental changes that affected the whole planet is revealing the patterns and drivers of the rise of complex life on Earth. We used to think early animals emerged rapidly following a single evolutionary event, but our findings suggest it actually happened in stages.”
Contacts and sources:
University of Edinburgh
Get Paid to Expose the Fake News! https://tinyurl.com/y2rodxfg
Support BeforeitsNews by trying APeX (far superior to colloidal silver) or any of our other great products at www.mitocopper.com
Check out the life changing BeforeitsNews natural health products and sign up to be an Affiliate so you earn on all sales through your links on Beforeitsnews, other websites or social networks!
APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver in destroying viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. See the videos and 50 page report!
Ultimate Curcumin - Most powerful natural pain relief you can buy. Reduce inflammation, depression, arthritis and so much more!
Supreme Fulvic - Nature’s most important supplement! Read our amazing testimonials and experience vivid dreams again!
MitoCopper - First bioavailable copper cleans up your blood from pathogens and gives you more energy! Watch all videos on our website
Use code Alton777 for a 10% discount on products
APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver in destroying viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
Ultimate Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reducle inflammation and so much more.
Supreme Fulvic - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again! See Testimonials
MitoCopper - First bioavailable copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy.
Prodovite - The Secret To Healing is in the Blood! Complete absorption in 5 minutes.