Early Paleozoic Reef

[ archean ]

The phyla that survived beyond the Cambrian explosion gave rise to a tremendous diversity as life-forms specialized and new ecological niches were created by the organisms themselves.

Organisms with guts, for instance, processed food and emitted fecal pellets. Other organisms developed to take advantage of this new resource.

In this painting of a middle Silurian sceneyou see Anomalocaris scattering the trilobites in its path, a graptolite animal floating on the surface, nautiloids, armoured fish rooting in the substrate and the earliest landplants pioneering the terrestrial environment.

"Early Palaeozoic" Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology Poster Series.