The Neoproterozoic-Cambrian transition was a time of fundamental change in the biosphere. Between about 570 and 510 million years ago, marine organisms underwent considerable evolutionary innovation during a time of shifting ecological setting. This dramatic activity culminated in the first stratigraphic appearances of many recognizable groups of animals, an 'event' often referred to as the 'Cambrian explosion'. In addition, there was a major change from a microbial mat-dominated sediment-water interface to a more extensively burrowed interface in shallow-marine settings. The early fossil record is a function not only of the rise or ecological diversification of marine organisms, but also the development of taphonomic and sedimentary conditions suitable for the preservation of mineralizing and nonmineralizing organisms. This book is devoted to an exploration of some of the emerging concepts and techniques used to develop greater insight into the early record of biologic diversification and the preservational record of that diversification during the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian transition. This book addresses key issues related to the Cambrian diversification of multicellular animals.
It includes provocative new ideas about the factors involved in the exceptional preservation of fossils, with a balance between the development of ideas and hypothesis testing. It features broad coverage of topics related to the Cambrian diversification of animals and the fossil record of that diversification; as well as broad geographic coverage.
Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology