Understanding Evolution

Meet the Cambrian critters

Fossil from the Cambrian

A little more than half a billion years ago, during the Cambrian Period, life on Earth was dramatically different than it is today. Fossils from the Cambrian (like the one in the picture to the left) give clues to the origins of many animal groups that are with us today, including arthropods.

Let's travel back in time to see what we can learn about life in the Cambrian Period.

In this section we will explore these key questions:
  • What can fossils tell us about life in the Cambrian?

  • Which groups of animals got their start in the Cambrian? And where are they now?

Are you ready? Fasten your seat belts! We're going back to the Cambrian!


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Fossil photo by Chip Clark, Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Understanding Evolution © 2018 by The University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, and the Regents of the University of California