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Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary

But why did the Ediacaran life forms just die out?

News from the Ediacaran era (600 – 542 million years ago), when many animals were genuinely hard to distinguish at first from plants, sharpens the question: So-called Ediacaran organisms have puzzled biologists for decades. To the untrained eye they look like fossilized plants, in tube or frond shapes up to 2 meters long. These strange life forms dominated Earth’s seas half a billion years ago, and scientists have long struggled to figure out whether they’re algae, fungi, or even an entirely different kingdom of life that failed to survive. Now, two paleontologists think they have finally established the identity of the mysterious creatures: They were animals, some of which could move around, but they were unlike any living on Earth Read More ›