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Earliest animals (so far): “bizarre frond-shaped organisms which lived 580-550 million years ago”


From “Pompeii-Style Volcanic Ash Fall Preserved ‘Nursery’ of Earliest Animals” (ScienceDaily, July 9, 2012), , we learn,

A volcanic eruption around 579 million years ago buried a ‘nursery’ of the earliest-known animals under a Pompeii-like deluge of ash, preserving them as fossils in rocks in Newfoundland, new research suggests.

This was the famous Ediacran period (that preceded the evem more famous Cambrian, and

The team discovered over 100 fossils of what are believed to be ‘baby’ rangeomorphs; bizarre frond-shaped organisms which lived 580-550 million years ago and superficially resemble sea-pen corals but, on closer inspection, are unlike any creature alive today. This ‘nursery’ of baby rangeomorphs was found in rocks at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland, Canada.

) Creation-Evolution Headlines asks “Are Two Cambrian Explosions Better than One?” (July 9, 2012 ), noting,

“The discovery confirms a remarkable variety of rangeomorph fossil forms so early in their evolutionary history,” the article said. Professor Brasier added another difficulty to the fact that they appeared in a remarkable variety out of nowhere: their diversification came “in an ‘Ediacaran explosion’ that may have mirrored the profusion of new life forms we see in the Cambrian.”

The fossil record shows abrupt appearance of complex life, rapid burial and exquisite preseveration, he notes, not what kids are taught in school about slow, gradual change.

(By the way, do these Ediacarans have anything on the animal tulip?)


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