What Would Happen If Plate Tectonics Ceased

The fossil record suggests that there are more species of animals and plants alive on Earth today than at any time in the past estimates vary between about 3 and 30 million species. This great diversity has come about through many physical and evolutionary factors. We contend that the effects of plate tectonics are among the most important. But once created, does high biodiversity require the continued presence of plate tectonics We can examine this question with a thought experiment. Imagine...

What Animals Were Involved in the Cambrian Explosion

Ediacara Fauna

No one disputes that a huge diversity of large animals emerged with alacrity between 600 and 500 million years ago. The event itself took place in the sea, for the land areas of the time were largely barren except for lichens and perhaps a few low plants there were no trees, no shrubs, no stemmed plants at all. Because of the lack of rooted vegetation, little soil would cling to the land surfaces. In the shallow seas and waterways, however, life was plentiful (though clearly different from that...