Ediacaran Period 635 to 542 mya
Traces of the oldest definite multicellular organisms with tissues are found in rocks dating from the Ediacaran Period, named after the hills in Australia where the fossils were first found.
Weird and exotic, these early experiments with form and function are very different from modern animals. Many resemble worms, fronds, disks or bags.
About 600 mya the northern super-continent Laurasia swung round and headed for the southern land mass Gondwana.
The great ice age (perhaps engulfing the whole Earth in ice) had just ended, leaving the climate warmer, the seas warm and shallow, ideal for the development of early life.
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