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The Ediacaran: When Life Became Interesting

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Graham Edgecombe.

Life on Earth has existed for 3.8 billion years, but for most of that time life consisted only of small microbes. 542 million years ago the Cambrian “explosion” brought with it the ancestors of everything alive today. However, before that came the Ediacaran – complex life that died completely after only 40 million years. Ediacaran fossils present many challenges for Palaeontology – they don’t look like anything else and don’t appear to have any close living relatives. What did they eat? How did they reproduce? What caused them to appear after 3 billion years of microbes? Why did they disappear? In this talk Dr Emily Mitchell will share what we know about these enigmatic creatures.

This talk is part of the Stokes Society, Pembroke College series.

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