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Evolution lecture : Darwin's Dilemma - The Burgess Shale and The Cambrian Explosion

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The sudden appearance of animals about half a billion years ago has long puzzled scientists. What, if any, were the triggers for this massive diversification, and is our understanding somehow incomplete? Key to the solution are the fossils from the Burgess Shale and similar deposits in Greenland and China. Many of the animals look as though they stepped from the pages of science fiction, but in fact they hold the key to some of evolution’s great mysteries, not least where we humans came from. And the story is by no means finished, because this in turn raises questions of whether evolution has deeper patterns.

Prof Conway Morris is the author of several books, including ‘The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals’ (1999) and ‘Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe’ (2003).

This talk is part of the SCI Cambridge Science Talks series.

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