This is a time of Ediacaran fauna
, the first large complex organisms we saw in the geologic record.
Named the Ediacaran fauna
after Australia's Ediacara Hills, these creatures dating from roughly 575 million to 542 million years ago mark life growing beyond the microscopic.
The Ediacaran fauna
were the first large complex life forms to appear.
Other great Canadian stories, such as the history of the late Precambrian between 750 and 550 million years ago (Snowball Earth, the Ediacaran fauna
at Mistaken Point, Newfoundland) and the Burgess Shale are told piecemeal, and fail to bring out the force of new research.
But there's evidence that some animals evolved before the Cambrian, including the Ediacaran fauna
, a bizarre assemblage that flourished between the Cryogenian and Cambrian.
It may have even spurred a tremendous bloom of evolutionary innovation known as the Ediacaran fauna
(SN: 5/18/96, p.