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The First Animals: When, Where and How?

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Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Parks Rd

oxford

OX1 3PW

United Kingdom

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Event description
A debate and discussion of the causes of the extraordinary evolutionary event that sparked the diversification of animal life.

About this Event

The Cambrian explosion, around 540 million years ago, was arguably one of the most important evolutionary events in Earth’s history.

In the short space of just a few tens of millions of years, our planet was transformed by the origin of all the major animal groups that we recognise today. This extraordinary evolutionary event paved the way for animal life to diversify and fill every habitat across the length and breadth of the ocean.

But what caused this sudden burst of development?

Was it due to a genetic revolution? Was it triggered by environmental change? Or were there many factors simultaneously at play?

The cause of the Cambrian explosion is a source of great debate and a thriving research area. Our panel of experts will discuss a range of topics including the timing of animal origins, the influence of developmental and environmental factors, and the emergence of modern oceanic ecosystems.

Chair:

Professor Paul Smith, Director, Museum of Natural History

Panel:

Professor Allison Daley, Professor of Palaeontology, University of Lausanne

Professor Philip Donoghue, Professor of Palaeobiology, University of Bristol

Professor Peter Holland, Linacre Professor of Zoology, University of Oxford

Professor Rosalind Rickaby, Chair of Geology, University of Oxford

Free, but advance booking required.

Suitable for adults and young people – beginners and experts are welcome! Speakers will start with the basics before introducing their specialist field of expertise.

6.00pm doors open for viewing of the First Animals exhibition

6.30pm debate begins in the Lecture Theatre

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Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Parks Rd

oxford

OX1 3PW

United Kingdom

View Map

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