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A Trigger for the Cambrian Explosion?

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Science  22 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5598, pp. 1547
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5598.1547

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At last month's annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, researchers reported that sediments in Oman provide evidence that an extinction 542 million years ago, possibly brought on when the deep sea disgorged noxious waters, set the stage for the proliferation of wild and wonderful life forms that followed. But this one page from the fossil record isn't enough to prove that a near-knockout punch to primitive life set off the Cambrian explosion.