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[The idea of this brief chapter is to introduce students to the concept of fossil occurrences and their use, through geological time. An approach that defines the geological time scale, a method of relating the timing and relationship between events that have occurred during Earth’s history.]
[The recent discovery of a 750 million years old sponge-like organism, Otavia antiqua [Figs. 2.2(1–5)], a calcareous sponge with Ca-based skeleton, from the Cryogenian–Ediacaran successions of Namibia (South Africa) makes sponges the oldest living animal (Brain et al. 2012; Maloof et al. 2010)...
[Cephalopods are bilaterally symmetrical swimming marine carnivore molluscs that include modern day cuttlefish, octopus, squid, pearly Nautilus, and a large number of and mostly Paleozoic and Mesozoic forms. At present there are 800 living cephalopod species (~175 genera) and more than 17,000...
[The name “Bivalve” was first coined by Linnaeus in 1758 (later known as “Carl von Linné”; see Bonnani 1681). “Pelecypoda” and “Lamellibranchia” are later and more commonly used terms; “Pelecypoda” is used in this book. Pelecypods evolved from the Early Cambrian (Tommotian) molluscan class...
[Trilobites, marine arthropods, belong to phylum Arthropoda, the most diverse phylum that includes all insects, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, and crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters.]
[Of the five classes of echinoderm (Fig. 6.1), echinoids are the most diverse and well represented, from shallow waters to abyssal depths. The echinoderm account for 90 % of the biomass even at the depth of ocean trenches; echinoderm are bottom-dwellers except for a few swimming sea cucumbers....
[The Graptolites (grapto = write, lithos = stone) are very small (<1 cm) extinct planktonic and colonial forms (inference based on shape of colonies, theca, and their recovery from deep “bottom” deposits).]
[Brachiopods are the oldest known shelly invertebrate fossils. Askepasma saproconcha Topper, a Paterinida, is the oldest known brachiopod coming from a pre-trilobitic strata (Terreneuvian, Cambrian Stage 2, lower Atdabanian; ~526–530 Ma) within the Early Cambrian succession from South Australia...
[Gastropods are one of the main divisions of phylum Mollusca and include organisms that bear a coiled [Fig. 9.1(1)] or uncoiled (Vermiform or worm-like; [Fig. 9.1(2)] calcareous shell; few others, such as slugs, have no hard parts. Gastropods, originally, were exclusively marine but during...
[Corals belong to Phylum Cnidaria (Ni-dá-ri-a: corals, sea anemones, hydra, jellyfish, sea fans, and the Portuguese man-of-war) that contain stinging cells [Cnidoblasts: variously referred to as Nematocyte or Cnidocyte; Fig. 10.1(1)] commonly located in tentacles.]
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