The first carnival of the animals: Causes and consequences of the diversification of Early Palaeozoic marine life
Thursday, 29 October 2020 - 8am (GMT) / 4pm (Beijing)
Professor Renbin Zhan, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology
Professor David Harper, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
What will be covered?
· Life has been evolving on our planet for some four billion years but for most of geological time life was microbial
· Within a window of some 100 million years animal life appeared in complexity and diversity and gradually began to dominate our biosphere
· Major biotic events such as the Cambrian Explosion, The Great Ordovician Biodiversification and the Late Ordovician Extinction changed the direction of life on Earth, established its resilience and initiated more modern marine ecosystems
· Intrinsic factors such as competition between animals and extrinsic factors such as climate and environmental change were key evolutionary drivers
· Crucial fossil evidence from China and beyond will be discussed and illustrated.