FREE ONLINE EVENING TALK
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.
Dr Frankie Dunn is a palaeontologist and an Early Career Research Fellow at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Merton College. Frankie’s research focuses on the origin and early evolution of animals and particularly on fossil record of the late Ediacaran Period (approximately 570 – 540 million years ago). The aim of this research is to understand how animal bodyplans evolved in deep time, before the divergence of the living animal lineages.
*Please note, this lecture may not be suitable for young children, but is suitable for adults and young people – beginners and experts welcome!
Dr Frankie Dunn
Early Career Research Fellow at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Merton College