Re: oldest animal life

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Mon, 09 Feb 1998 14:50:23 -0800

As more details of the discovery in China seep out, when is someone going
to ask the obvious question: if all these embryos are preserved in the
Doushantuo formation, where are the adults? Or did they just grow up and
become the Cambrian fauna we are familiar with? Or is the fossil record so
incomplete that we can preserve billions of embryos in various stages of
development, without a single adult? Well, maybe it was just an extreme
example of the faunal sorting that we are familiar with in the Phanerozoic.
of sorted assemblages based on size. Interestingly, teh Nature article
reports the fossil embryos occur in the fossil record "well before their
macroscopic traces or body fossils appear in the geological record." Now
that should cause someone to come up with a creative explanation or two.