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A modern arthropod (the centipede Cormocephalus) crawls over its Cambrian ‘flatmate’ (the trilobite Estaingia). Michael Lee / South Australian Museum and Flinders University

Life quickly finds a way: the surprisingly swift end to evolution’s big bang

Modern animals took over our planet much more quickly than previously thought. This has both welcome and disturbing implications for the future of life on our rapidly changing planet
The cycles of nutrients into the oceans following the building of mountains may have been a prime driver of evolutionary change. John Long, Flinders University

Plate tectonics may have driven the evolution of life on Earth

The rise and fall of the essential elements for life could have influenced the way life evolved over many millions of years.
Marine life during the Cambrian explosion. A giant Anomalocaris investigates a trilobite, while Opabinia looks on from the right, and the ‘walking cactus’ Diania crawls underneath. Katrina Kenny & Nobumichi Tamura

Evolution’s ‘big bang’ explained (and it’s slower than predicted)

The sudden appearance of a range of modern animals about half a billion years ago, during evolution’s “big bang”, has intrigued and puzzled generations of biologists from Charles Darwin onwards. A new…

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