The results of the Cambrian explosion are well documented in the fossil record, but its cause -- why and when it happened, and perhaps why nothing similar has happened since -- has been a mystery. Now a recentpaper in Nature (abstract) suggests that the answer may lie in a second geological curiosity -- a dramatic boundary, known as the GreatUnconformity, between ancient igneous and metamorphic rocks and younger sediments.
posted by Long Way To Go
on Jun 23, 2013 -
"We were looking for pretty animals that have eyes, are coloured, or glow in the dark; instead, the most interesting find was the organism that was blind, brainless, and completely covered in mud." Some of the oldest fossil records may need to be reconsidered: Dr. Mikhail Matz of the University of Texas has discovered Gromia Sphaerica, a species of protist, making tracks.... [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth
on Nov 22, 2008 -