1) Ediacaran Period; (e-di-a-ca-ran} Approximately 635 million to 542 million years ago.(BC).
2) Trilobite: Ancient horseshoe crab that crawled around during the Cambrian Period and alludes to the age of this writer and often crabby author.
I was reading my Smithsonian Magazine and came upon this word, Ediacaran, It impressed me so much I decided to write an article about it and tie it into what I believe.
Most of you that read or have read and have a rudimentary education, can recall some of the primary periods of earth's evolution( other than the movie, Jurassic park-pun!). I had always began with what I thought was the first, the Cambrian Period.This was the period of ocean dwelling creatures that lived and swam in the primordial oceans before the first reptiles crawled out from the ancient oceans, everything prior to that was Precambrian. Much to my surprise I discovered a period that existed before Cambrian and that was the Ediacaran Period.
Of course there were epochs of earth's evolution before the Ediacaran Period but those were pre-life epochs. The Ediacaran Period is the missing link just like the ape to modern man scenario. Before the Cambrian Period there were only single cell organisms(Precambrian) or Proterozoic, like blue green algae and multicellular organisms like sea fans worms and such. It is in the Ediacaran Period that these one cell creatures developed into multicellular creatures and developed muscles and modes of locomotion. From the Ediacaran Period we enter the Cambrian Period(Explosion) with fish and stuff that develop muscles and vertebrae and mobility.
Why is this significant? Because there are almost no fossil record of the Precambrian Period. Soft single cell creatures don't leave fossil records as such. There are only three places on earth that we have found these creatures fossilized, Newfoundland, Australia and the White Sea area in Russia. My Smithsonian article was about Newfoundland and a place called Mistaken Point. What struck my fancy was the fact that these fossils were once the seafloor of an ancient ocean somewhere down around Brazil. Yea! Plate Tectonics had moved them darn near to the North Pole.Why were they preserved? It was because a cataclysmic volcanic eruption had covered them quickly in soft ash just like it had done in Pompeii, Italy.
Yea! yea! I understand! So what! Like I said, I was impressed with the word because I had never heard of it before. I am not sure I can even pronounce it correctly. I said I would tie this to my personal beliefs.What I hear constantly is the demagoguery doomsday talking points about Global Warming being the single most dangerous threat to mankind. Yes! Yes! and Yes! The earth probably is warming and mankind certainly contributes to it! My Gawd! There are palm trees in England(I've seen them)One arctic pole is melting while the other arctic pole is getting bigger(go figure) Our world alarmists are going crazy predicting gloom and doom and I agree with them. There is a cataclysmic climate change coming. What is silly is the audacity of mankind thinking we can prevent it.
Silly mankind! There are so many other things that threaten us that it is incomprehensible to me that we are so enthralled by Global Warming. For instance, the world's population will double by the year 2050(think about this! Really think!). Where will mankind get the resources to feed such a multitude? My mother once told me that the single greatest commodity in the future will be drinkable water. Really! Think! Do you drink it? Water your crops for food, Flush your toilets and wash yourself and cloths? Fresh water is the single most life sustaining commodity the world has. I have received this month's National Geographic Magazine since starting this blog post(April, 2017) I wish to make mention of its articles; (1)Explore Water- a world synopsis of mankind polluting the oceans and all the manmade debris in the oceans,(2) Climate Change- The 7 things you need to know,(3)Racing the Thaw-Alaska's permafrost is melting,(4) Beyond Human- man's ability to adapt to climate change and mankind's evolution in the future, (5) Water Stupas in the Himalayas to provide crop irrigation before the snow melt.(6)Life After Isis- the shear apocalyptic devastation of the Mideast by this radical fundamentalist group of muslim religious zealots.
There is hope in that mankind will somehow adapt. There are the vast oceans of liquid but we must have energy to run the desalination machines. When you use energy you produce waste such as coal ash, carbon monoxide and spent nuclear fuel rods. Mankind might survive if we can develop solar and wind energy to run the desalination plants. What about population control? There are too many humans and we will double and triple earth's population so how do we feed them? Nature will correct this naturally with war and pestilence. There is a correction coming! It might not be in my lifetime but it is coming. There are just too many things that could devastate earth like a solar storm or a meteor strike. With modern day transportation I tend to think of a pandemic like Ebola or Hemorrhagic Fever spreading worldwide in just days. Now that is gloom and doom!
Personally I think the earth will warm enough to melt the poles and all that fresh water will sink and mess up the ocean's gyres and when the Gulf Stream stops flowing northward, all those palm trees in England will die and earth will see the advent of a new Ice Age. Really! Be Pragmatic! The earth is cyclic and we are due an ice age(about every 10,000 to 12,000 years. People! The Earth will endure! So long as the earth has an atmosphere then life will exist on earth but mankind may go by the wayside like so many of earth's creatures. 99 percent of the creatures that have lived and breathed on earth are now extinct.
In my Smithsonian Magazine article, this scientist, named Richard Thomas, a geologist, stated" Life on earth is at another watershed moment though this one is self inflicted, for me, it puts everything into perspective, how arrogant we are he says, reflecting on the vanished life forms. We have been around for the blink of an eye. People say Save the Planet! Well, the planet will survive us. earth will endure. Something will replace us. Some days I think, the sooner the better!" My thoughts Exactly!
For your edification:
Ediacaran Period(single and multicellular creatures evolve into creatures that can move(have muscles)
Cambrian Period or Explosion( primordial fish and vertebrae)
Silurian Period(land invasion)
Devonian Period( modern fish and insects)
Carboniferous Period( forrest and amphibians)
Permian Period(Great Extinction)
Cretaceous Period( Dinosaur Extinction)
Tertiary Period( continents assume present locations
Quaternary Period( Age of Humans)- All these Periods lasted millions of years. Mankind has been around less than a hundred thousand years, from the first ape to walk upright to modern man. like the scientist said " The earth will survive and endure, we(mankind) may not.