Biodiversity Event Fossils Discovered

10 Feb, 2014, 09:30 ET from NexGen Biomedical

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a desert that was once an ocean, 35 fossilized bodies waited patiently for 250 million years to tell their story. It is the story of quantum speciation, or biodiversity explosion events, that abruptly, and seemingly out of nowhere, filled the earth with a wide range of biodiverse life forms.

Biodiversity explosion events have remained one of our greatest planetary mysteries because of the lack of hard evidence as to how they occurred.  These 35 fossilized bodies provide that evidence and their story is told in a new book titled "Anatomy of a Biodiversity Explosion Event" authored by Mark J. Zamoyski.

"This in not just their story.  This is the story of all of us."  the author explains.

The book takes a detective's approach to reviewing this new evidence and identifies a previously unknown suspect that had the means, motive, and opportunity to cause the biodiversity explosion event.  "The evidence indicates the suspect used a simple genetic reassortment process to perpetrate the biodiversity explosion" the author summarized.

"The life forms spawned by this process span the range from unicellular giants to forerunners of dinosaurs and mammals, as well as life forms that never made it into earth's playbook of life." the author continued.  "The exceptional level of internal soft tissue preservation shows the appearance of specialized cell types such as optic and olfactory neurons.  Undigested stomach contents reveal that predators were also created as part of this process.  Life forms with features suited for migration onto land ( e.g. reptilian skin, paws, claws, etc...) and forerunners of air breathing land animals also appear as part of the mix."

The story told by these fossils provides a novel perspective on how life on earth arose, how earth repopulated after one extinction event, and how life may develop on other planets and what it may look like.

The book is available from and

SOURCE NexGen Biomedical