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Simon Darroch

Ediacaran dinner party featured plenty to eat, adequate sanitation, computer model shows

Jun. 19, 2019—“They are behaving like animals, and that’s a link between them and what we recognize as animals," says paleontologist Simon A.F. Darroch.

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Dolphin ancestor’s hearing was more like hoofed mammals than today’s sea creatures

May. 15, 2019—The team, one of the first in the world to examine the ability’s origins, used a small CT scanner to look inside a 30-million-year-old ear bone fossil from a specimen resembling Olympicetus avitus.

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Earth’s oldest animals formed complex ecological communities

Sep. 17, 2018—Ediacara biota were forming complex communities tens of millions of years before the Cambrian explosion.

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Reverse engineering mysterious 500 million-year-old fossils that confound our tree of life

Jun. 21, 2017—In "The Conversation," Vanderbilt paleontologist Simon Darroch explains how computational fluid dynamics can help researchers understand some of the earliest life on Earth.

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Life in the Precambrian may have been much livelier than previously thought

May. 18, 2017—An interdisciplinary study suggests the strange creatures that lived in the Garden of the Ediacaran more than 540 million years ago may have been much more dynamic than experts have thought.

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Research that ruled in 2016: Readers’ favorite stories

Dec. 16, 2016—Artificial kidneys, gay-straight alliances and junkyard batteries captured readers' attention in 2016.

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Newly discovered fossils strengthen proposition that world’s first mass extinction engineered by early animals

Jul. 29, 2016—New fossil evidence strengthens the proposition that the world’s first mass extinction was caused by ‘ecosystem engineers’ – newly evolved organisms that radically altered the environment.

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The most popular research stories of 2015

Dec. 28, 2015—With discoveries ranging from the origins of consciousness to the end of the universe, 2015 was a year of incredibly diverse research at Vanderbilt University.

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Evidence that Earth’s first mass extinction was caused by critters, not catastrophe

Sep. 2, 2015—The Earth's first mass extinction event 540 million years ago was caused not by a meteorite impact or volcanic super-eruption, but by the rise of early animals that dramatically changed to prehistoric environment.

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