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      Dawn of metazoans: to what extent was this influenced by the onset of “modern-type plate tectonics”?


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          Abstract The appearance of complex megascopic multicellular eukaryotes in the Ediacaran occurred just when the dynamics of a cooling Earth allowed establishment of a new style of global tectonics that continues to the present as “modern-type plate tectonics”. The advent of this style was first registered in 620 Ma-old coesite-bearing Ultra-High Pressure eclogites within the Transbrasiliano-Kandi mega-shear zone along the site of the West Gondwana Orogeny (WGO). These eclogites comprise the oldest evidence of slab-pull deep subduction capable of inducing continental collisions and producing high-relief Himalayan-type mega-mountains. Life, prior to this time, was essentially microscopic. Yet with increasing Neoproterozoic oxygenation and intensified influx of nutrients to Ediacaran oceans, resulting from the erosion of these mountains, complex macroscopic heterotrophic eukaryotes arose and diversified, taking the biosphere to a new evolutionary threshold. The repeated elevation of Himalayan-type mega-mountains ever since then has continued to play a fundamental role in nutrient supply and biosphere evolution. Other authors have alluded to the influence of Gondwana mountain-building upon Ediacaran evolution, however we claim here to have identified when and where it began.

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          The Cambrian conundrum: early divergence and later ecological success in the early history of animals.

          Diverse bilaterian clades emerged apparently within a few million years during the early Cambrian, and various environmental, developmental, and ecological causes have been proposed to explain this abrupt appearance. A compilation of the patterns of fossil and molecular diversification, comparative developmental data, and information on ecological feeding strategies indicate that the major animal clades diverged many tens of millions of years before their first appearance in the fossil record, demonstrating a macroevolutionary lag between the establishment of their developmental toolkits during the Cryogenian [(850 to 635 million years ago (Ma)], and the later ecological success of metazoans during the Ediacaran (635 to 541 Ma) and Cambrian (541 to 488 Ma) periods. We argue that this diversification involved new forms of developmental regulation, as well as innovations in networks of ecological interaction within the context of permissive environmental circumstances.
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            A neoproterozoic snowball earth

            Negative carbon isotope anomalies in carbonate rocks bracketing Neoproterozoic glacial deposits in Namibia, combined with estimates of thermal subsidence history, suggest that biological productivity in the surface ocean collapsed for millions of years. This collapse can be explained by a global glaciation (that is, a snowball Earth), which ended abruptly when subaerial volcanic outgassing raised atmospheric carbon dioxide to about 350 times the modern level. The rapid termination would have resulted in a warming of the snowball Earth to extreme greenhouse conditions. The transfer of atmospheric carbon dioxide to the ocean would result in the rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate in warm surface waters, producing the cap carbonate rocks observed globally.
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              Assembly, configuration, and break-up history of Rodinia: A synthesis


                Author and article information

                Brazilian Journal of Geology
                Braz. J. Geol.
                Sociedade Brasileira de Geologia (São Paulo, SP, Brazil )
                : 50
                : 2
                : e20190095
                [1] São Paulo São Paulo orgnameUniversidade de São Paulo Brazil ucordani@ 123456usp.br
                S2317-48892020000200606 S2317-4889(20)05000200606

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                : 28 February 2020
                : 18 September 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 109, Pages: 0

                SciELO Brazil

                Special Session, "A tribute to Edilton Santos, a leader in Precambrian Geology in Northeastern Brazil", edited by A.N. Sial and V.P. Ferreira

                plate tectonics,mega-mountains,Ediacaran biota
                plate tectonics, mega-mountains, Ediacaran biota


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