Download a podcast of Dr John Paterson’s presentation on “Ancient Seafood on Kangaroo Island: Documenting the Rise of Animals Over Half a Billion Years Ago”, presented by the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity.
Dr John Paterson is the Convenor and Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences School of Environmental & Rural Science at University of New England.
Abstract: The Cambrian Period (542-488 million years ago) is arguably the most profound phase in the evolution of life, marking the initial appearance and radiation of most animal groups that exist today. The early Cambrian (515 million-year-old) Emu Bay Shale on Kangaroo Island, South Australia provides a unique window into this evolutionary burst, containing a vast array of exceptionally preserved fossils, with many specimens revealing soft-part anatomy (e.g., eyes and guts) that is rarely preserved in the fossil record. Recent excavations have revealed that the Emu Bay Shale biota comprises over 50 species (to date), more than half of which are new to science and await documentation. This talk focuses on these exciting new discoveries.