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The Cambrian Explosion

Hall of Life—Origins of Life Exhibits

on December 14, 2015

Did life suddenly explode on the scene during the Cambrian Period?

Actually, rather than representing a snapshot of life 500–600 million years ago, this layer of rock represents a snapshot of a series of marine ecosystems that were buried in the beginning stages of the Flood 4,300 years ago.

Cambrian Explosion Illustration

Paleontologist Dr. Kurt Wise suggests that as you look at the museum mural of the “Cambrian Explosion,” you should think of it as a picture of life before the Flood. He points out that the animals found in this layer are complex, completely formed, and are part of fully integrated ecosystems of marvelous beauty and wonder, reflective of the nature of the Creator. Some of the animals buried in Cambrian rocks are part of huge groups of thousands of species completely unknown in the present, like the trilobites, the sponge-like archaeocyathans, the crusting-algae-like stromatoporoids, and the tabulate and rugosan corals. Others (echinoderms, the mollusks, and the brachiopods) are broadly classified in modern groups but showed a much greater diversity than we observe in the present. Other animals, especially those buried in Ediacaran rocks just below the Cambrian, are just plain weird, like the Ediacaran and Tommotian faunas.

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