Complex eyes of giant Cambrian predator
Paterson, John R. Division of Earth Sciences, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.
- Optics of ancient eyes
- Evolutionary implications
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The Cambrian Period (542–488 million years ago) is arguably the most important phase in the evolution of complex life. The Cambrian explosion is an evolutionary event that encompasses the rapid proliferation of marine life and the first appearance of most of the major animal lineages (or phyla) familiar to us today. Animals with preservable hard parts (for example, shells and exoskeletons) and animals (termed the bioturbators) that could burrow and mix the sediment became increasingly abundant. This interval also heralds the Cambrian arms race, a phase that amplified ecological complexity, including the advent of predator–prey relationships that completely reshaped food webs within marine ecosystems. In short, the Cambrian explosion is the invention of the modern marine biosphere.
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