The Neoproterozoic Era (1000-542 million years ago) has become a major focus of geobiological investigations because it is a geological period characterized by dramatic climatic change and important evolutionary innovations. Repeated glaciations of unusual magnitude occurred throughout this tumultuous interval, and various eukaryotic clades independently achieved multicellularity, becoming more complex, abundant, and diverse at its termination. Animals made their first debut in the Neoproterozoic too.
This volume presents a sample of views and visions among some of the growing numbers of Neoproterozoic workers. It includes a set of multidisciplinary reviews on the Neoproterozoic fossil record (animals, algae, acritarchs, protists, and trace fossils), evolutionary developmental biology of animals, molecular clock estimates of phylogenetic divergences, and Neoproterozoic chemostratigraphy and sedimentary geology. These topics are of continuing interest to geoscientists and bioscientists who are intrigued by the deep history of the Earth and its inhabitants.
From the reviews: "The volumes of Springer's series 'Topics in Geobiology' bring together contributions from leading scientists in hot research fields investigating the interaction between Earth and life. ! For university libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (W. L. Cressler III, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (10), June, 2007) "The emphasis on biology -- whether geo or palaeo -- is a heartening sign of the times ! . So is the volume successful? In principal, absolutely. This is very much the kind of multidisciplinary approach that is necessary to appreciate when and how biology revolutionized the surficial Earth system, yielding our modern, uniformitarian world. ! Its real value ! lies in synthesis, and the focus it brings to one of the most fascinating intervals in Earth history." (N. J. Butterfield, Geological Magazine, Vol. 145 (3), 2008)
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