Evolution’s ‘big bang’ explained (and it’s slower than predicted)

09/12/2013 11:38

By Mike Lee

The sudden appearance of a range of modern animals about half a billion years ago, during evolution’s “big bang”, has intrigued and puzzled generations of biologists from Charles Darwin onwards. A new study by Greg Edgecombe from London’s Natural History Museum, Julien Soubrier from the University of Adelaide, and I, and published today in Current Biology, suggests that the evolution of all these animals during the lower Cambrian can be explained by only a relatively minor increase in evolutionary rates - sustained over 20-30 million years. [Read more] ...