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Chronology, evolving rythmes and dynamics of first animal biodiversifications

 

Our research focuses on the origin and early diversification of animal life through the late Precambrian (Ediacaran) and the Palaeozoic Era. The early evolutionary history of present-day animal groups and the functioning of early marine ecosystems are reconstructed via the study of exceptional fossil localities (Lagerstätten) in Russia (White Sea), Canada (e.g. Burgess Shale), China (e.g. Chengjiang, Kuanchaunpu) and Morocco (Fezouata). We have a particular interest in major biodiversification events such as the Cambrian Explosion, the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event which gave rise to modern biodiversity and trophic webs. The increasing complexity of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the major biodiversity crises which affected the biosphere throughout the Palaeozoic are also central to the research activities of our group.

Figure : From left to right, up: Precambrian organism (Ediacaran, Russia), arthropod from the Burgess Shale (Cambrian, Canada) and echinoderm from the Fezouata (Ordovician, Morocco). Down: Extant ostracods, arthropods from Fezouata and Monceau-les-Mines (Carboniferous)- Photos: B. Lefebvre, V. Perrier et J. Vannier, LGLTPE.

Participants : Vincent Perrier (MCF), Bertrand Lefebvre (CR), Jean Vannier (DR), Deng Wang (PhD), Farid Saleh (PhD).