Cambrian Period - 550 million years ago
Cambrian Period, illustration Josef Moravec. Oil painting 26" x 34" (66 cm x 86 cm).
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Cambrian period was characterized by an interesting diversity of life in the seas. Life had not yet evolved upon land. The highest forms of life existing at this time were the trilobites, which reached lengths up to two feet. Here is shown a view of the ocean floor during this period with a gathering of denizens from its shadowy depths. Species include Paradoxides gracilis (trilobite), Hydrocephalus minor (trilobite), Peronopsis integra (trilobite) Stromatocystis pentangularis, & Acadocrinus nuntius. The Cambrian period follows after the Neoproterozoic and is followed by the Ordovician period. The Cambrian is divided into three epochs the Early Cambrian (Caerfai or Waucoban), Middle Cambrian (St Davids or Albertian) and Furongian (also known as Late Cambrian, Merioneth or Croixan). Rocks of these epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower, Middle, or Upper Cambrian. The time range for the Cambrian has classically been thought to have been from about 500 mya to about 570 mya. The lower boundary of the Cambrian was traditionally set at the earliest appearance of early arthropods known as trilobites and of primitive reef-forming animals known as archeocyathids.
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