First published in 1992, The Proterozoic Biosphere was the first major study of the paleobiology of the Proterozoic Earth. It is a multidisciplinary work dealing with the evolution of the Earth, the environment and life during the forty percent of Earth's history that extends from the middle of the Precambrian eon (2500 Ma) to the beginning of the Paleozoic era (550 Ma). The book includes a vast amount of data on Proterozoic organisms and their analogs. Prepared by the Precambrian Paleobiology Research Group, a multidisciplinary consortium of forty-one scientists from eight countries, this monograph was a benchmark in the development of the science of the biochemistry and the organic chemistry of Proterozoic sediments. The study aimed to generate data and analyses based on the re-examination of previous studies and on newer investigations and to build towards the future by placing special emphasis on neglected aspects of paleobiologic study and unsolved problems in the field.
List of contributors; Preface; Part Ithe Archean Earth; 2. Geological evolution of the Proterozoic Earth; 3. Proterozoic biochemistry; 4. Proterozoic atmosphere and ocean; 5. Proterozoic and selected early Cambrian microfossils: prokaryotes and protists; 6. Modern mat-building microbial communities: a key to the interpretation of Proterozoic stromatolitic communities; 7. Proterozoic and earliest Cambrian carbonaceous remains, trace and body fossils; 8. The Proterozoic-early Cambrian evolution of metaphytes and metazoans; 9. Molecular phylogenetics, molecular paleontologym and the Proterozoic fossil record; 10. Biostratigraphy and paleobiology of the Proterozoic; 11. Biotic diversity and rates of evolution during Proterozoic and earliest Phanerozoic time; 12. A paleogeographic model for Vendian and Cambrian time; 13. Evolution of the Proterozoic biosphere: benchmarks, tempo and mode; Part II: 14. Geographic and geologic data for PPRG rock samples; 15. Flow chart and processing procedures for rock samples; 16. Procedures of whole rock and kerogen analysis; 17. Abundances and isotopic compositions of carbon and sulphur species in whole rock and kerogen samples; 18. Procedures for analysis of extractable organic matter; 19. Composition of extractable organic matter; 20. Modern mat-building microbial communities: methods of investigation and supporting data; 21. Construction and use of geological, geochemical and paleobiological databases; 22. Proterozoic and selected early Cambrian microfossils and microfossil-like objects; 23. Described taxa of Proterozoic and selected earliest Cambrian Carbonaceous remains, trace and body fossils; 24. Atlas of representative Proterozoic microfossils; 25. Informal revised classifications of Proterozoic microfossils; 26. Models for Vendian-Cambrian biotic diversity and for Proterozoic atmospheric and ocean chemistry; 27. Glossary of technical terms; References cited; Subject index; Index to geologic units; Taxonomic index.