Conway Morris, Simon Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Diversity of fauna
- New discoveries
- Current controversies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Part of a clay and silt sequence that accumulated at the foot of a colossal “reef” during the Cambrian explosion, a dramatic evolutionary radiation of animals beginning about 545 million years ago. Although this explosion is most obvious from the geologically abrupt appearance of skeletons, the bulk of the radiation consisted of soft-bodied animals (Fig. 1). The Burgess Shale fauna, located near Field in southern British Columbia, is Middle Cambrian, approximately 520 million years old.
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