Early evolution of the Eukaryota

Butterfield, Nicholas J. (2014) Early evolution of the Eukaryota. Palaeontology, 58 (1). pp. 5-17. ISSN 00310239 DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12139

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pala.12139


The evolution of eukaryotes represents one of the most fundamental transitions in the history of life on Earth; however, there is little consensus as to when or over what timescale it occurred. Review of recent hypotheses and data in a phylogenetic context yields a broadly coherent account. Critical re-assessment of the palaeontological record provides convincing evidence for the presence of crown-group eukaryotes in the late Palaeoproterozic, and stem-group eukaryotes extending back to the early Archaean. Despite their relatively early establishment, crown-eukaryotes appear not to have become ecologically significant until the middle Neoproterozoic. I argue that this billion-year delay was due to the singular, contingent evolution of crown-group animals and their unique capacity to drive co-evolutionary change.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Palaeontological Association
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2014AREP; IA68;
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Palaeontology
Volume: 58
Page Range: pp. 5-17
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12139
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2015 16:46
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2015 15:34
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3218

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