Research Topic

Precambrian Paleontology

About this Research Topic

In recent years, research in various fields has revealed different aspects of the emergence and early evolution of life on Earth. Although biochemical studies and biological experiments can provide us with hypotheses about the origin and early evolution of life, it is the fossil record that provides information and that is used to evaluate these hypotheses as well as to establish the order and chronology of evolutionary events.

The few tens of millions of years that preceded the Phanerozoic are recognized as a true adaptive explosion of macroscopic metazoans. A rich and extensive Precambrian fossil record of microscopic, rather than macroscopic, organisms was discovered that can be attributed to unicellular and colonial prokaryotes. The rise of oxygen as a stable gas in Earth’s atmosphere could only have occurred long after the origin of life. After the supply of oxidizable surfaces ran out, oxygen would have begun to accumulate in the atmosphere, and the modern high-oxygen atmosphere would have been developed.

In the late Precambrian, the first multicellular organisms evolved and by the end of this period, conditions were set for the explosion of life that took place at the start of the Cambrian - the first period of the Phanerozoic Eon.

For this Research Topic, we welcome studies focusing on fossils that can elucidate the origin and evolution of life in the Precambrian record. The focus will be on original research articles, but also systematic reviews, review articles and methods articles are welcome.


Keywords: Ediacaran, Metazoa, Micropaleontology, Eucarionts, Neoproterozoic


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In recent years, research in various fields has revealed different aspects of the emergence and early evolution of life on Earth. Although biochemical studies and biological experiments can provide us with hypotheses about the origin and early evolution of life, it is the fossil record that provides information and that is used to evaluate these hypotheses as well as to establish the order and chronology of evolutionary events.

The few tens of millions of years that preceded the Phanerozoic are recognized as a true adaptive explosion of macroscopic metazoans. A rich and extensive Precambrian fossil record of microscopic, rather than macroscopic, organisms was discovered that can be attributed to unicellular and colonial prokaryotes. The rise of oxygen as a stable gas in Earth’s atmosphere could only have occurred long after the origin of life. After the supply of oxidizable surfaces ran out, oxygen would have begun to accumulate in the atmosphere, and the modern high-oxygen atmosphere would have been developed.

In the late Precambrian, the first multicellular organisms evolved and by the end of this period, conditions were set for the explosion of life that took place at the start of the Cambrian - the first period of the Phanerozoic Eon.

For this Research Topic, we welcome studies focusing on fossils that can elucidate the origin and evolution of life in the Precambrian record. The focus will be on original research articles, but also systematic reviews, review articles and methods articles are welcome.


Keywords: Ediacaran, Metazoa, Micropaleontology, Eucarionts, Neoproterozoic


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

28 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

28 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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