Interpretation of Biological and Environmental Changes across the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Boundary

Interpretation of Biological and Environmental Changes across the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Boundary

1st Edition - September 23, 2005

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  • Editor: L.E. Babcock
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444520654

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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.

Key Features

* Addresses key issues related to the Cambrian diversification of multicellular animals
* Provocative new ideas about the factors involved in the exceptional preservation of fossils, with a balance between the development of ideas and hypothesis testing
* Broad coverage of topics related to the Cambrian diversification of animals and the fossil record of that diversification; broad geographic coverage


Researchers in palaeobiology, palaeoclimatology and precambrain geology

Table of Contents

  • Introduction.
    Interpretation of biological and environmental changes across the Neoproterozoic–Cambrian boundary: developing a refined understanding of the radiation and preservational record of early multicellular organisms (L.E. Babcock).
    Research papers.
    Corumbella, an Ediacaran-grade organism from the Late Neoproterozoic of Brazil (L.E. Babcock et al.).
    Trace fossil preservation and the early evolution of animals (S. Jensen, M.L. Droser, J.G. Gehling).
    Fossilization modes in the Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Cambrian of China): testing the roles of organic preservation and diagenetic alteration in exceptional preservation (M. Zhu, L.E. Babcock, M. Steiner).
    Paleoecology of benthic metazoans in the Early Cambrian Maotianshan Shale biota and the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale biota: evidence for the Cambrian substrate revolution (S.Q. Dornbos, D.J. Bottjer, J.-Y. Chen).
    Palaeoecology of the Early Cambrian Sinsk biota from the Siberian Platform (A.Yu. Ivantsov et al.).
    Articulated sponges from the Lower Cambrian Hetang Formation in southern Anhui, South China: their age and implications for the early evolution of sponges (S. Xiao et al.).
    Cambrian Sphenothallus from Guizhou Province, China: early sessile predators (J. Peng et al.).
    Lower Cambrian Burgess Shale-type fossil associations of South China (M. Steiner et al.).
    The earliest occurrence of trilobites and brachiopods in the Cambrian of Laurentia (J.S. Hollingsworth).
    Taphonomy and depositional circumstances of exceptionally preserved fossils from the Kinzers Formation (Cambrian), southeastern Pennsylvania (E.S. Skinner).
    A new hypothesis for organic preservation of Burgess Shale taxa in the middle Cambrian Wheeler Formation, House Range, Utah (R.R. Gaines, M.J. Kennedy, M.L. Droser).
    Alpha, beta, or gamma: Numerical view on the Early Cambrian world (A.Yu. Zhuravlev, E.B. Naimark).

Product details

  • No. of pages: 232
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2005
  • Published: September 23, 2005
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444520654

About the Editor

L.E. Babcock

Affiliations and Expertise

The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

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