The Nature of Evolution: Ediacaran Oddities

Through the early part of the 19th century, further discoveries did little to dislodge the idea that Darwinian evolution by natural selection of natural variations in species happened at a steady slow tempo.

The discovery of the Australian Ediacaran fauna in 1947 focused attention on a group of Precambrian organisms which had been little noticed. The fossils gave paleontologists a good bit to puzzle over. In one popular view, the creatures were seen as ancestors to present day animals, much the way even the strangest of the Burgess Shale creatures were classified as arthropods by Walcott.