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Current understanding on the Cambrian Explosion: questions and answers
Zhang, Xingliang(张兴亮)1,2; Shu, Degan1
2021-07-14
Source PublicationPALZ
ISSN0031-0220
Pages20
Abstract

The Cambrian Explosion by nature is a three-phased explosion of animal body plans alongside episodic biomineralization, pulsed change of generic diversity, body size variation, and progressive increase of ecosystem complexity. The Cambrian was a time of crown groups nested by numbers of stem groups with a high-rank taxonomy of Linnaean system (classes and above). Some stem groups temporarily succeeded while others were ephemeral and underrepresented by few taxa. The high number of stem groups in the early history of animals is a major reason for morphological gaps across phyla that we see today. Most phylum-level clades achieved their maximal disparity (or morphological breadth) during the time interval close to their first appearance in the fossil record during the early Cambrian, whereas others, principally arthropods and chordates, exhibit a progressive exploration of morphospace in subsequent Phanerozoic. The overall envelope of metazoan morphospace occupation was already broad in the early Cambrian though it did not reach maximal disparity nor has diminished significantly as a consequence of extinction since the Cambrian. Intrinsic and extrinsic causes were extensively discussed but they are merely prerequisites for the Cambrian Explosion. Without the molecular evolution, there could be no Cambrian Explosion. However, the developmental system is alone insufficient to explain Cambrian Explosion. Time-equivalent environmental changes were often considered as extrinsic causes, but the time coincidence is also insufficient to establish causality. Like any other evolutionary event, it is the ecology that make the Cambrian Explosion possible though ecological processes failed to cause a burst of new body plans in the subsequent evolutionary radiations. The Cambrian Explosion is a polythetic event in natural history and manifested in many aspects. No simple, single cause can explain the entire phenomenon.

KeywordCambrian explosion Metazoa Bilateria Evolution Darwin's dilemma
DOI10.1007/s12542-021-00568-5
Indexed BySCI
Language英语
WOS KeywordEDIACARAN FOSSIL DICKINSONIA ; EARLY EVOLUTION ; SEAWATER CHEMISTRY ; NAMA GROUP ; ANIMAL EVOLUTION ; SOUTHERN SHAANXI ; DARWINS DILEMMA ; EARLY HISTORY ; METAZOAN ; RECORD
Funding ProjectNatural Science Foundation of China[41890845] ; Natural Science Foundation of China[41621003] ; Natural Science Foundation of China[41930139] ; Natural Science Foundation of China[41772011] ; 111 Project[D17013] ; Key Scientific and Technological Innovation Team Project in Shaanxi Province
WOS Research AreaPaleontology
WOS SubjectPaleontology
WOS IDWOS:000673410600001
Funding OrganizationNatural Science Foundation of China ; 111 Project ; Key Scientific and Technological Innovation Team Project in Shaanxi Province
PublisherSPRINGER HEIDELBERG
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.nigpas.ac.cn/handle/332004/38409
Collection中国科学院南京地质古生物研究所
Corresponding AuthorZhang, Xingliang(张兴亮)
Affiliation1.Northwest Univ, Dept Geol, State Key Lab Continental Dynam, Shaanxi Key Lab Early Life & Environm, Xian 710069, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Inst Geol & Paleontol, Nanjing 210008, Peoples R China
First Author AffilicationNanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeonotology,CAS
Corresponding Author AffilicationNanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeonotology,CAS
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Zhang, Xingliang,Shu, Degan. Current understanding on the Cambrian Explosion: questions and answers[J]. PALZ,2021:20.
APA Zhang, Xingliang,&Shu, Degan.(2021).Current understanding on the Cambrian Explosion: questions and answers.PALZ,20.
MLA Zhang, Xingliang,et al."Current understanding on the Cambrian Explosion: questions and answers".PALZ (2021):20.
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