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The Dawn of Animal Life

The Dawn of Animal Life
A Biohistorical Study

$51.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Earth Science Series

  • Date Published: August 1985
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521312165

$ 51.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This 1985 book examines the origin of the present diversity of marine invertebrate animals. A brief review of the early stages in the history of life discusses the time-scale of the relevant geological periods alongside corresponding events in the evolutionary sequence. These views of the early history of life are then matched against the fossil record and conjectures drawn from the living fauna, enabling the author to attempt an overview of the early diversification of marine animal life. Transitions to the succeeding assemblages of shellbearing fossils in Palaeozoic rocks are discussed and a number of stratigraphic adjustments are suggested for the period in which evolutionary events had their greatest impact on oceans and marine rock strata. The need for an interdisciplinary approach to early evolution is emphasized.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 1985
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521312165
    • length: 258 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures and tables
    1. Precambrian life and its environment: a review: i. Theories about the origin of life and its environment
    ii. The Precambrian, its subdivisions, and the dating of biohistoric events
    iii. The preservation and recognition of organic remains in rocks: chemofossils, fossil organisms, pseudofossils
    iv. The cell: organization and life processes. The 'kingdoms' of organisms
    v. Proterozoic fossils and environments
    vi. Origins and early differentiation of the Metazoa
    2. The Ediacarian faunal assemblages: discovery, composition, significance
    i. Discoveries at Ediacara
    ii. Palaeoenvironment and fossilization
    iii. Composition of the fauna
    iv. Paleobiology
    v. Other occurrences of Late Precambrian Metazoa in Australia
    vi. The Nama fauna of southwestern Africa (Namibia) and possible equivalents in South America
    vii. Late Precambrian Metazoa from the Northern Hemisphere
    viii. The concept of Ediacarian fauna
    3. The Precambrian diversification of the Metazoa in the light of paleozoology: i. The significance of the Ediacarian fauna for metazoan phylogeny
    ii. Re-assessment of the incompleteness of the palaeontological record
    iii. The record of the Late Precambrian fauna applied to problems of phylogeny
    iv. Occupation of the marine environment: habitats and habits
    v. Conclusions on the physical environments of the Late Precambrian Metazoa
    vi. The taxonomy of emerging diversity: the meaning of phyla
    vii. Rates of evolution
    4. The Precambrian-Cambrian transition: i. Stratigraphic scales: boundaries and historical transitions
    ii. The fate of the Ediacarian faunas: extinction, survival, replacement
    iii. The Cambrian Period as the time of the first shelly fossils
    iv. the oldest Cambrian faunas and their evolutionary antecedents
    v. Agglutinated, chitinous and mineralized body components in Ediacarian fossils and in some successors
    vi. Extrinsic and internal factors of biomineralisation and its functional significance
    vii. Environmental changes at the Precambrian-Cambrian transition
    viii. Increase in diversity of trace fossils
    ix. Consequences and causes of evolutionary diversification
    5. Emerging animal life: thoughts on interactions of lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere: i. Interactions of intrinsic and environmental factors in the emergent biosphere
    ii. Metazoan expansion in the marine biosphere: a three-stage process
    iii. Interactions in the light of plate tectonics
    iv. Animal life: past, present and future
    Dictionaries of scientific terms
    Author index
    Subject index.

  • Author

    Martin F. Glaessner

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