An Introduction to Charnia - one of the oldest fossil animals
17 June 19:00
Animals today rule the land, seas and skies, but this was not always the case. Most major animal groups appear in the fossil record during a major evolutionary radiation event over 500 million years ago; an event that palaeontologists call the ‘Cambrian Explosion’. However, the evolutionary origins of animals are likely to be significantly more ancient. Approximately 700 million years ago the Earth sunk into an ice age so severe it is sometimes known as ‘Snowball Earth’. When palaeontologists initially examined the rocks deposited after the ice sheets receded, they found a variety of strange and unusual fossils which increasing evidence suggests were ancient animals. In this talk, I will introduce you to these fossils and specifically to the long-extinct Rangeomorpha - to which Charnia belongs - that appear to have lived and died in the wake of Snowball Earth.
*Please note, this lecture may not be suitable for young children, but is suitable for adults and young people – beginners and experts welcome!