The Ediacaran Period contains fossils of the earliest known animals. They were soft-bodied (without shells) and so their fossils are very rare. Their relation with the animals we find today is not known. Here is an example of what we think one of them looked like:
Reconstruction of Kimberella courtesy of Nobu Tamura
This animal appears to have lived by eating bacteria on the sea-bed, perhaps similar to the way slugs eat plants now.
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