Temporal range: Early Arenig
Thymurus is an extinct genus from a well-known class of fossil marine arthropods, the trilobites. It lived during the early part of the Arenig stage of the Ordovician Period,a faunal stage which lasted from approximately 478 to 471 million years ago.
An extinction event is a widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity on Earth. Such an event is identified by a sharp change in the diversity and abundance of multicellular organisms. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases with respect to the rate of speciation. Estimates of the number of major mass extinctions in the last 540 million years range from as few as five to more than twenty. These differences stem from disagreement as to what constitutes a "major" extinction event, and the data chosen to measure past diversity.
The Silurian is a geologic period and system spanning 24.6 million years from the end of the Ordovician Period, at 443.8 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Devonian Period, 419.2 Mya. The Silurian is the shortest period of the Paleozoic Era. As with other geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period's start and end are well identified, but the exact dates are uncertain by a few million years. The base of the Silurian is set at a series of major Ordovician–Silurian extinction events when up to 60% of marine genera were wiped out.
The gastropods, commonly known as snails and slugs, belong to a large taxonomic class of invertebrates within the phylum Mollusca called Gastropoda.
Mosasaurs comprise a group of extinct, large marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous. Their first fossil remains were discovered in a limestone quarry at Maastricht on the Meuse in 1764. They belong to the order Squamata, which includes lizards and snakes.
Goniatids, informally goniatites, are ammonoid cephalopods that form the order Goniatitida, derived from the more primitive Agoniatitida during the Middle Devonian some 390 million years ago. Goniatites (goniatitids) survived the Late Devonian extinction to flourish during the Carboniferous and Permian only to become extinct at the end of the Permian some 139 million years later.
A microfossil is a fossil that is generally between 0.001 mm and 1 mm in size, the visual study of which requires the use of light or electron microscopy. A fossil which can be studied with the naked eye or low-powered magnification, such as a hand lens, is referred to as a macrofossil.
An interglacial period is a geological interval of warmer global average temperature lasting thousands of years that separates consecutive glacial periods within an ice age. The current Holocene interglacial began at the end of the Pleistocene, about 11,700 years ago.
The Emsian is one of three faunal stages in the Early Devonian Epoch. It lasted from 407.6 ± 2.6 million years ago to 393.3 ± 1.2 million years ago. It was preceded by the Pragian Stage and followed by the Eifelian Stage. It is named after the Ems river in Germany. The GSSP is located in the Zinzil'ban Gorge in the Kitab State Geological Reserve of Uzbekistan, 35 centimetres (14 in) above the contact with the Madmon Formation.
Bramerton Pits is a 0.7-hectare (1.7-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest north of the village of Bramerton in Norfolk on the southern banks of the River Yare. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.
Monte San Giorgio is a mountain and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It is part of the Lugano Prealps, overlooking Lake Lugano in the Swiss Canton of Ticino.
In geology, the Arenig is a time interval during the Ordovician period and also the suite of rocks which were deposited during this interval.
Callawayasaurus is a genus of plesiosaur from the family Elasmosauridae. When the first Callawayasaurus fossil was first discovered by Samuel Paul Welles in 1962, it was described as Alzadasaurus colombiensis before being moved into its current genus by Kenneth Carpenter in 1999.
Vinctifer is an extinct genus of prehistoric bony fish erected by David Starr Jordan in 1919.
Chongichthys is an extinct genus of prehistoric bony fish that lived during the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic epoch. Fossils of the genus have been found in the Quebrada El Profeta of Chile.
The Dresbachian is a Maentwrogian regional stage of North America, lasting from 501 to 497 million years ago. It is part of the Upper Cambrian and is defined by four trilobite zones. It overlaps with the ICS-stages Guzhangian, Paibian and the lowest Jiangshanian.
Tarpons are fish of the genus Megalops. They are the only members of the family Megalopidae. Of the two species, one is native to the Atlantic, and the other to the Indo-Pacific Oceans.
Crustaceans may pass through a number of larval and immature stages between hatching from their eggs and reaching their adult form. Each of the stages is separated by a moult, in which the hard exoskeleton is shed to allow the animal to grow. The larvae of crustaceans often bear little resemblance to the adult, and there are still cases where it is not known what larvae will grow into what adults. This is especially true of crustaceans which live as benthic adults, more-so than where the larvae are planktonic, and thereby easily caught.
Crustaceans form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as decapods, seed shrimp, branchiopods, fish lice, krill, remipedes, isopods, barnacles, copepods, amphipods and mantis shrimp. The crustacean group can be treated as a subphylum under the clade Mandibulata. It is now well accepted that the hexapods emerged deep in the Crustacean group, with the completed group referred to as Pancrustacea. Some crustaceans are more closely related to insects and the other hexapods than they are to certain other crustaceans.
Atopodentatus is an extinct genus of basal sauropterygian known from the early Middle Triassic of Luoping County, Yunnan Province, southwestern China. It contains a single species, Atopodentatus unicus. It is thought to have lived between 247 and 240 million years ago, during the Middle Triassic period, about six million years after the Permian extinction. Atopodentatus was an herbivorous marine reptile, although marine reptiles are usually omnivores or carnivores.
Caveasphaera is a multicellular organism found in 609-million-year-old rocks laid down during the Ediacaran period in the Guizhou Province of South China. The organism is not easily defined as an animal or non-animal. The organism is notable due to the study of related embryonic fossils which display different stages of its development: from early single-cell stages to later multicellular stages. Such fossil studies present the earliest evidence of an essential step in animal evolution – the ability to develop distinct tissue layers and organs. According to researchers, fossil studies of Caveasphaera have suggested that animal-like embryonic development arose much earlier than the oldest clearly defined animal fossils and may be consistent with studies suggesting that animal evolution may have begun about 750 million years ago. Nonetheless, Caveasphaera fossils may look similar to starfish and coral embryos. Still, researchers have concluded, "Parental investment in the embryonic development of Caveasphaera and co-occurring Tianzhushania and Spiralicellula, as well as delayed onset of later development, may reflect an adaptation to the heterogeneous nature of the early Ediacaran nearshore marine environments in which early animals evolved."