Cambrian

The Cambrian is the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, lasting from 541.0 ± 1.0 to 485.4 ± 1.9 million years ago (mya) and is succeeded by the Ordovician. Its subdivisions, and indeed its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for Wales, where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed. The Cambrian is unique in its unusually high proportion of lagerstätten. These are sites of exceptional preservation, where 'soft' parts of organisms are preserved as well as their more resistant shells. This means that our understanding of the Cambrian biology surpasses that of some later periods.

The Cambrian Period marked a profound change in life on Earth; prior to the Cambrian, living organisms on the whole were small, unicellular and simple. Complex, multicellular organisms gradually became more common in the millions of years immediately preceding the Cambrian, but it was not until this period that mineralised – hence readily fossilised – organisms became common. The rapid diversification of lifeforms in the Cambrian, known as the Cambrian explosion, produced the first representatives of many modern phyla, representing the evolutionary stems of modern groups of species, such as the arthropods. While diverse life forms prospered in the oceans, the land was comparatively barren – with nothing more complex than a microbial soil crust and a few forms that apparently emerged to browse on the microbial materials. Most of the continents were probably dry and rocky due to a lack of vegetation. Shallow seas flanked the margins of several continents created during the breakup of the supercontinent Pannotia.The seas were relatively warm, and polar ice was absent for much of the period.

The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee uses a "barred capital C" character similar to the capital letter Ukrainian Ye ‹Є› to represent the Cambrian Period. The proper Unicode character is U+A792 Ꞓ latin capital letter c with bar.

Read more about Cambrian:  Stratigraphy, Paleogeography, Climate, Flora, Fauna

Other articles related to "cambrian":

Cambrian Substrate Revolution - Effects of The Revolution - Palaeontological Significance
... Post-Cambrian lagerstatte of this nature are typically found in very unusual environments ... understanding of the early Cambrian, and provides an additional line of evidence to show that the Cambrian explosion represents a real diversification, and is not a preservational artefact - even if its timing did not ... that the appearance of the complex burrow Treptichnus pedum is used to mark the base of the Cambrian period ...
Lemdadella - Biostratigraphy
... that the first appearance datum of trilobites should be used as the lower boundary of Cambrian Series 2 and Cambrian Stage 3 ... Lemdadella are therefore of key importance for the Stratigraphy of the Cambrian ...
Cambrian - Fauna
... Most animal life during the Cambrian was aquatic ... Before the Cambrian, the sea floor was covered by microbial mats ... Some Cambrian organisms ventured onto land, producing the trace fossils Protichnites and Climactichnites ...
Lobopod Gut
... Their fossil range dates back to the Early Cambrian ... The oldest near-complete fossil lobopods date to the Lower Cambrian some are also known from a Silurian Lagerstätte ... are found among the so-called "small shelly fauna" (SSF) from the early Cambrian period ...
Tsunyidiscus - Species and Distribution
... Tsunyidiscus aclis Collected in the Lower Cambrian of China (Atdabanian Jinning, 24.7° N, 102.7° E and Maotianshan 24.0°N, 102.0°E, Yuanshan Formation, Yunnan) ... Tsunyidiscus acutus Present in the Lower Cambrian of China (Atdabanian, Shuijingtuo Formation, Yichang and Zgui, Yangtze Gorge Area, Hubei, 111°E, 30.5°N) Tsunyidiscus ... Tsunyidiscus niutitangensis Known from the Lower Cambrian of China (Atdabanian Jinning, 24.7° N, 102.7° E and Malong, 25.4° N, 103.4° E, Yuanshan Formation ...