How did animal life begin? A must-see exhibition in Oxford brings together the world’s best fossils from the Cambrian explosion to tell the story

Earth 14 August 2019
Cricocosmia jinningensis fossil
Early worm: Cricocosmia jinningensis had a spiny proboscis and a long trunk

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Exhibition

First Animals

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Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Until 24 February 2020

IT CAME to be known as Darwin’s dilemma: why did animal life appear abruptly in the fossil record 542 million years ago, having left no trace in earlier rocks? In his book On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin admitted: “I can give no satisfactory answer.” The origin of animals was duly elevated to one of the great mysteries …

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