© 2015 Cardiff Scientific Society

The origins of animal biodiversity are rooted in the Cambrian and Neoproterozoic, as evidenced by the fossil records of adult representatives of almost all of the living phyla. These body plans were established as a consequence of embryological evolution, insights into which have traditionally been limited to comparative analysis of the embryos of living animals. The past decades have witnessed the discovery of a fossil record of embryos of the earliest animals, providing direct insights into their embryology and direct tests of long cherished hypotheses of embryological evolution.

7th January 2015

Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre
Cardiff University

Professor of Paleobiology, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

Professor Philip Donoghue


Embryology in Deep Time

SEM images of fossilised embryos of Markuelia hunanensis (Dong et al. 2004)

Rendered virtual models of fossilized embryos based upon SRXTM scan data (Donoghue et al. 2006)