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UF study: Barren Siberia, of all places, may be original home to animal life

m the South Pole to the equator in a mere 15 million years from 523 million to 505 million years ago meaning they moved at more than 25 inches per year more than four times faster than what Lieberman and Meert found.

If that were true, Meert said, the expectation would be that all trilobites would be related in the same way in other words, that their family tree would resemble a bush, with many closely related families together. In fact, some are much more closely related than others, which suggests they split off from and spent differing amounts of time apart from each other, Lieberman said. The analysis also suggests the first trilobite originated on Siberia several million years before the first fossil record of the animals appears. Both studies and methods resulted in the same outcome.

"He had trilobites on my paleogeography and I had palegeography on his trilobites," Meert said.

Although the cause of the Cambrian radiation remains unknown, the continents' movement away from one another opened a new ocean between them and probably warmed the climate, creating an atmosphere more conducive to life, Meert added.


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Contact: Joe Meert
jmeert@geology.ufl.edu
352-846-2414
University of Florida
7-Apr-2004


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