Tag: Jonathan B. Antcliffe

Jon is a researcher at the University Of Bristol, where he is funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to study the origin of animal life. He has a PhD, based around the study growth and evolution of the Ediacaran Biota, from Oxford University. His research focusses on early events in the evolution of multicellular organisms, including those soft-bodied organisms which predate the Cambrian Explosion, and also early biomineralising animals. This work includes the Ediacaran to Cambrian transition and the emergence of the animal phyla, developing new methods to understand enigmatic fossils, evolutionary theory including the construction and collapse of ecosystems and the rise of the predator-prey system, and the construction of the first animal ecosystems. In addition to this work he is active in conservation projects for fossil sites across the UK and Canada.

Contact Details:

Dr. Jonathan B. Antcliffe, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Queen’s Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, UK.

Patterns in Palaeontology: The Cambrian explosion – Paradoxes and possible worlds

Patterns in Palaeontology
by Jonathan B. Antcliffe1 Introduction: The transition between the Precambrian and the Cambrian period (about 550 million to 500 million years ago) records one of the most important patterns of fossils in all the geological record. Complex animals with a suite of shells, intricate body plans and associated movement traces appeared for the first time, suddenly and unambiguously, in sequences all over the world during this interval. This ‘Cambrian explosion’ remains one of the most controversial areas of research in all of the history of life, and one of the most exciting. Palaeontological data like this is definitive in its support for evolutionary theory, the relative sequence of first appearances in the fossil record over the past several billion years ties very closely with what we wou...