Rethinking Evolution: Extinct Creatures Unlike Any Living Today

Life in the Ediacaran Sea


“During the Ediacaran, there seem to have been major changes in the Earth’s oceans, which may have triggered growth, so that life on Earth suddenly starts getting much bigger,” said paleobiologist Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill at the University of Essex referring to ocean dwellers, rangeomorphs, that lived during the Ediacaran period, between 635 and 541 million years ago. Their soft bodies were made up of branches, each with many smaller side branches, forming a geometric shape known as a fractal, which can be seen today in things like lungs, ferns and snowflake.