The Cambrian Explosion

by ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1/18/2013
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $71.75 Save up to $2.15
  • Buy New
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


The Cambrian Period records one of the most extraordinary transitions in the history of life. Beginning as simple sponges more than 635 million years ago, the earliest animals evolved into a diverse marine fauna over the course of 100 million years. In The Cambrian Explosion, Erwin and Valentine synthesize research from many fields to explain why there was such remarkable novelty of animal forms. This is an integrative work of the highest quality, covering one of the most fascinating and transformative periods in life's history.

Author Biography

Douglas Erwin is a paleobiologist with interests in evolutionary innovations and the end-Permian mass extinction and subsequent biotic recovery, among other areas. Recent field projects have taken him to China, South Africa, and Canada. He is Senior Scientist and Curator in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History and a professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He is the author of six books, including most recently Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago (Princeton University Press, 2005).Jim Valentine has spent the last 50 years trying to understand the paleoecological and macroevolutionary principles that have shaped the fossil record of the marine biosphere. He has found the earliest animal records to be a particular challenge to such interpretation and a delight to investigate. He is active Professor Emeritus of Integrative Biology at the University of California, and the author of many books, including most recently On the Origin of Phyla (University of Chicago Press, 2004).

Table of Contents

Historical and Geological Settings

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Geological Context of Ediacaran and Cambrian Events

Chapter 3: The Environmental Context of the Ediacaran and Early Cambrian

The Record of Early Metazoan Evolution

Chapter 4: The Metazoan Tree of Life

Chapter 5: Dawn of Animals: The Ediacara Biota          

Chapter 6: Metazoan Architectures of the Cambrian Explosion

Biological Processes

Chapter 7: The Construction of Metazoan Ecosystems

Chapter 8: The Evolution of the Metazoan Genome and the Cambrian Explosion

Evolutionary Dynamics of the Cambrian Explosion

Chapter 9: Ghostly Ancestors

Chapter 10: Constructing the Cambrian

Appendix: First Appearances of Major Metazoan clades in the Fossil Record



Rewards Program

Write a Review