What our ancestors may have looked like

The so-called ‘Cambrian explosion’ that occurred 500-600 million years ago saw the appearance in the fossil record of an extraordinarily wide diversity of life forms. Whether there was a sudden flurry of evolutionary advances at the time or whether that time marked the beginning of animal bodies that were fossilizable and so gave the illusion of an explosion of life forms is not clear. The suspicions are that it was the latter.

The illustrations in a new book about that period show some reconstructions of them. We could well be the descendants of one of these animals. What is clear is that we had, by current standards, some pretty weird looking ancestors,. Here’s one of them that I thought most closely resembles me.



  1. Doug Little says

    The so-called ‘Cambrian explosion’ that occurred 500-600 million years ago

    Were you there?

  2. David Marjanović says

    Well… “our ancestors”… none of the pics on that site show a deuterostome.

  3. Matt G says

    Why not? I call the formation of the Himalayas a collision. People just need to expand their concept of what an explosion or collision is.

  4. embertine says

    Hey, I still look like that when I’m on the sofa on a Saturday morning, watching Game of Thrones whilst wearing a sleeping bag.

  5. Chiroptera says

    Thanks for bringing this book to our attention. I just added it to my “wish list.”

  6. thebookofdave says

    From now on, whenever someone responds with that question, look them in the eye with a straight face and say ‘yes’. Just for teh lulz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *