Plants and animals that became extinct during the Precambrian Era include acritarchs and Ediacara biota. These were soft-bodied organisms. Animals such as Namacalathus and Cloudina also became extinct in the Precambrian Era.
The Ediacara biota were soft-bodied creatures that resembled fronds, discs or tubes. Scientists are not quite sure if they were plants or animals. They might have been types of fungi or microbes that formed colonies. At the time, there were no flowering plants.
The Ediacara biota flourished until the very end of the Precambrian Era, a time which is known as the Ediacaran period. This was over half a billion years ago. What fascinates scientists about these creatures is that they formed fossils in the first place, even though they had soft bodies.
Some acritarchs are fossils of the tiny cysts that dinoflagellates and algae reverted to when their environment dried up. Scientist can use these cysts to determine what the environment was like when these microscopic plants were alive.
Cloudina was one of the first animals that built a shell around itself, and great colonies of these animals helped to build up ancient reefs. Like modern bivalves and univalves, its shells were made of calcium carbonate. Namacalathus, a creature resembling a perforated cup on a stick, was also believed to have a calcified skeleton.Learn More
The Precambrian Supereon was the longest single time period in Earth's history. Beginning 4.6 billion years ago, and lasting for over 4 billion years, the Precambrian era saw the formation of the Earth, origin of life, rise of multicellular organisms and development of an oxygen-rich terrestrial atmosphere. The Supereon ended with a change to the fossil record, caused by the development of hard-shelled organisms of the Phanerozoic era.Full Answer >
The last of the mammoths survived in Alaska about 10,000 years ago. No definite reason has been attributed to the demise of the mammoths, though several factors, such as climate change, the arrival of humans and even meteorological events, are being studied and linked with the extinction of the large herbivorous mammals.Full Answer >
The era occurring before the current geologic era was the Mesozoic, which began roughly 245 million years ago and ended about 64 million years ago. The Mesozoic era consisted of three periods; from oldest to more recent, they are the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods.Full Answer >
According to Discovery, there are many theories as to why the woolly mammoth became extinct, from disease and hunting to some sort of natural catastrophe. However, evidence has come to light that climate change may have been the real culprit.Full Answer >