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Cambrian Period--Explosion of Life, Burgess Shale, Chordates

Cambrian Explosion. Fossilmuseum.net. Short review with links of the relatively sudden appearance of diverse fossil life at the beginning of the Cambrian Period (and Paleozoic Era).

The Shape of Life—The Cambrian Explosion. Brief explanation of the relatively sudden diversification of animal life at the beginning of the Cambrian Period (and Paleozoic Era) from the PBS series with short video clips and links.

Early Animal Evolution. Bellarmine College. Fairly technical analyses of early animal evolution. Includes a phylogenetic chart of early animals across the “Cambrian explosion, and a section on the genealogy and genetics of animal ancestors, which uses the present understanding of the genetic code of invertebrates and hypothesizes on changes that led to animal diversification.  Good example of how genetics is being used to try to better understand changes in animal life through time.

Burgess Shale--A Hidden Treasure in the Canadian Rockies, Hooper Virtual Paleontological Museum. Good description of the Cambrian world, formation of the shale, discovery of the shale, preservation of the fossils, descriptions of fossils, comparison to the Chengjiang fossils from China, and the significance of the Burgess Shale in earth history.

Dawn of Ocean Life Exhibit, Dolex. Descriptions and pictures of fossils from the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang, China. A window will pop up asking for Japanese text, which you can cancel in order to get to the Web site in English.

The Burgess Shale Site, Yoho-Burgess Shale Foundation. History of Walcott quarries, discussion of the importance of the Burgess Shale, photo gallery, information on trails, a museum, and more.

100 Greatest Discoveries: Burgess Shale Preservation. How Stuff Works with Bill Nye.  Short on-line video that shows an animation of the Burgess Shale sea floor and early life being buried by an underwater mudflow. The video also discusses the importance of these fossils with pictures of the fossils.

 

 

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