Known also as the Vendian, the Ediacaran was the final stage of Pre-Cambrian time. All life in the Ediacaran was soft-bodied - there were no bones, shells, teeth or other hard parts. As soft bodies don't fossilise very well, remains from this period are rare. The world's first ever burrowing animals evolved in the Ediacaran, though we don't know what they looked like. The only fossils that have been found are of the burrows themselves, not the creatures that made them. This period gets its name from the Ediacara Hills in Australia, where famous fossils of this age were found.
Began: 635 million years ago
Ended: 545 million years ago
During this period the following extinction level events are thought to have occurred.
The Ediacaran Period /ˌiːdiˈækərən/, named after the Ediacara Hills of South Australia, is the last geological period of the Neoproterozoic Era and of the Proterozoic Eon, immediately preceding the Cambrian Period, the first period of the Paleozoic Era and of the Phanerozoic Eon. Its status as an official geological period was ratified in 2004 by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), making it the first new geological period declared in 120 years.
Although the Period takes its name from the Ediacara Hills where geologist Reg Sprigg first discovered fossils of the eponymous biota in 1946, the type section is located in the bed of the Enorama Creek within Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, at 31°19′53.8″S 138°38′0.1″E / 31.331611°S 138.633361°E / -31.331611; 138.633361.
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