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Cambrian
The Cambrian Period ( ; sometimes symbolized Ꞓ) was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, and of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian lasted 53.4 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran Period 538.8 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Ordovician Period mya. Its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established as "Cambrian series" by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for 'Cymru' (Wales), where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed. Sedgwick identified the layer as part of his task, along with Roderick Murchison, to subdivide the large "Transition Series", although the two geologists disagreed for a while on the appropriate categorization. The Cambrian is unique in its unusually high proportion of sedimentary deposits, sites of exceptional preservation where "soft" parts of organisms are preserved as well as their more resistant shells. As a result, our understanding of the Cambrian bio ...
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Cambrian Explosion
The Cambrian explosion, Cambrian radiation, Cambrian diversification, or the Biological Big Bang refers to an interval of time approximately in the Cambrian Period when practically all major animal phyla started appearing in the fossil record. It lasted for about 13 – 25 million years and resulted in the divergence of most modern metazoan phyla. The event was accompanied by major diversification in other groups of organisms as well. Before early Cambrian diversification, most organisms were relatively simple, composed of individual cells, or small multicellular organisms, occasionally organized into colonies. As the rate of diversification subsequently accelerated, the variety of life became much more complex, and began to resemble that of today. Almost all present-day animal phyla appeared during this period, including the earliest chordates. A 2019 paper suggests that the timing should be expanded back to include the late Ediacaran, rather than just the na ...
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Ediacaran Biota
The Ediacaran (; formerly Vendian) biota is a taxonomic period classification that consists of all life forms that were present on Earth during the Ediacaran Period (). These were composed of enigmatic tubular and frond-shaped, mostly sessile, organisms. Trace fossils of these organisms have been found worldwide, and represent the earliest known complex multicellular organisms. The Ediacaran biota may have undergone evolutionary radiation in a proposed event called the Avalon explosion, . This was after the Earth had thawed from the Cryogenian period's extensive glaciation. This biota largely disappeared with the rapid increase in biodiversity known as the Cambrian explosion. Most of the currently existing body plans of animals first appeared in the fossil record of the Cambrian rather than the Ediacaran. For macroorganisms, the Cambrian biota appears to have almost completely replaced the organisms that dominated the Ediacaran fossil record, although relationships are still ...
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Geological Period
The geologic time scale, or geological time scale, (GTS) is a representation of time based on the rock record of Earth. It is a system of chronological dating that uses chronostratigraphy (the process of relating strata to time) and geochronology (scientific branch of geology that aims to determine the age of rocks). It is used primarily by Earth scientists (including geologists, paleontologists, geophysicists, geochemists, and paleoclimatologists) to describe the timing and relationships of events in geologic history. The time scale has been developed through the study of rock layers and the observation of their relationships and identifying features such as lithologies, paleomagnetic properties, and fossils. The definition of standardized international units of geologic time is the responsibility of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), a constituent body of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), whose primary objective is to precisely define ...
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Ordovician
The Ordovician ( ) is a geologic period and system, the second of six periods of the Paleozoic Era. The Ordovician spans 41.6 million years from the end of the Cambrian Period million years ago (Mya) to the start of the Silurian Period Mya. The Ordovician, named after the Welsh tribe of the Ordovices, was defined by Charles Lapworth in 1879 to resolve a dispute between followers of Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison, who were placing the same rock beds in North Wales in the Cambrian and Silurian systems, respectively. Lapworth recognized that the fossil fauna in the disputed Stratum, strata were different from those of either the Cambrian or the Silurian systems, and placed them in a system of their own. The Ordovician received international approval in 1960 (forty years after Lapworth's death), when it was adopted as an official period of the Paleozoic Era by the International Union of Geological Sciences, International Geological Congress. Life continued to flourish duri ...
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Trace Fossil
A trace fossil, also known as an ichnofossil (; from el, ἴχνος ''ikhnos'' "trace, track"), is a fossil record of biological activity but not the preserved remains of the plant or animal itself. Trace fossils contrast with body fossils, which are the fossilized remains of parts of organisms' bodies, usually altered by later chemical activity or mineralization. The study of such trace fossils is ichnology and is the work of ichnologists. Trace fossils may consist of impressions made on or in the substrate by an organism. For example, burrows, borings ( bioerosion), urolites (erosion caused by evacuation of liquid wastes), footprints and feeding marks and root cavities may all be trace fossils. The term in its broadest sense also includes the remains of other organic material produced by an organism; for example coprolites (fossilized droppings) or chemical markers (sedimentological structures produced by biological means; for example, the formation of stromatolites). ...
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Wales
Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2021 of 3,107,500 and has a total area of . Wales has over of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate. The capital and largest city is Cardiff. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales was formed as a kingdom under Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1055. Wales is regarded as one of the Celtic nations. The conquest of Wales by Edward I of England was completed by 1283, though Owain Glyndŵr led the Welsh Revolt against English rule in the early 15th century, and briefly re-establish ...
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Ediacaran
The Ediacaran Period ( ) is a geological period that spans 96 million years from the end of the Cryogenian Period 635 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Cambrian Period 538.8 Mya. It marks the end of the Proterozoic Eon, and the beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is named after the Ediacara Hills of South Australia. The Ediacaran Period's status as an official geological period was ratified in 2004 by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), making it the first new geological period declared in 120 years. Although the period takes its name from the Ediacara Hills where geologist Reg Sprigg first discovered fossils of the eponymous Ediacaran biota in 1946, the type section is located in the bed of the Enorama Creek within Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, at . The Ediacaran marks the first appearance of widespread multicellular fauna following the end of Snowball Earth glaciation events, the so-called Ediacaran biota, whi ...
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Paleozoic
The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. The name ''Paleozoic'' ( ;) was coined by the British geologist Adam Sedgwick in 1838 by combining the Greek words ''palaiós'' (, "old") and ''zōḗ'' (), "life", meaning "ancient life" ). It is the longest of the Phanerozoic eras, lasting from , and is subdivided into six geologic periods (from oldest to youngest): # Cambrian # Ordovician # Silurian # Devonian # Carboniferous # Permian The Paleozoic comes after the Neoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon and is followed by the Mesozoic Era. The Paleozoic was a time of dramatic geological, climatic, and evolutionary change. The Cambrian witnessed the most rapid and widespread diversification of life in Earth's history, known as the Cambrian explosion, in which most modern phyla first appeared. Arthropods, molluscs, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and synapsids all evolved during the Paleozoic. Life began in the ocean but eve ...
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Phanerozoic Eon
The Phanerozoic Eon is the current geologic eon in the geologic time scale, and the one during which abundant animal and plant life has existed. It covers 538.8 million years to the present, and it began with the Cambrian Period, when animals first developed hard shells preserved in the fossil record. The time before the Phanerozoic, called the ''Precambrian'', is now divided into the Hadean, Archaean and Proterozoic eons. The time span of the Phanerozoic starts with the sudden appearance of fossilised evidence of a number of animal phyla; the evolution of those phyla into diverse forms; the emergence and development of complex plants; the evolution of fish; the emergence of insects and tetrapods; and the development of modern fauna. Plant life on land appeared in the early Phanerozoic eon. During this time span, tectonic forces which move the continents had collected them into a single landmass known as Pangaea (the most recent supercontinent), which then se ...
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Animals
Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and go through an ontogenetic stage in which their body consists of a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from to . They have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The scientific study of animals is known as zoology. Most living animal species are in Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan. The Bilateria include the protostomes, containing animals such as nematodes, arthropods, flatworms, annelids and molluscs, and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms ...
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Treptichnus Pedum
''Treptichnus'' (formerly named ''Phycodes'', ''Manykodes'' by J. Dzik, and also known as ''Trichophycus''See e.gfossiilid.info: paleodiversity in Baltoscandia: Trichophycus pedum/ref>) is the preserved burrow of an animal. As such, it is regarded as the earliest widespread complex trace fossil. Its earliest appearance, around 542 mya, which was contemporaneous with the last of the Ediacaran biota, is used to help define the dividing line, considered geologically at 541 mya, between the Ediacaran and Cambrian periods. It is last seen in the fossil record during the Cenomanian (99.7 Ma). Description ''Treptichnus pedum'' has a fairly complicated and distinctive burrow pattern: along a central, sometimes sinuous or looping burrow it made successive probes upward through the sediment in search of nutrients, generating a trace pattern reminiscent of a fan or twisted rope. The organism that left such traces is considered more complex than earlier Ediacaran biota; and these trace f ...
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Fortune Head
Fortune Head is a headland located about from the town of Fortune on the Burin Peninsula, southeastern Newfoundland. A thick section of rock along its cliffs is designated the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (or GSSP) representing the boundary between the Precambrian era and the Cambrian period, million years ago. Fortune Head was selected in 1992 over similar rock sections in Siberia, Russia, and Meischucum, China. because of its accessibility and abundance of fossils. Fortune Head Ecological Reserve Fortune Head was established as a provisional reserve in 1990, and then given full ecological reserve status in 1992 following Fortune Head’s selection as the global stratotype. The reserve is in size. The Fortune Head lighthouse, which is operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, is also on the reserve and functions as a visitor center. Geology The Burin Peninsula is part of the Avalon Zone of the Appalachian Orogen, the geology of which chronicles the late Precamb ...
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