The Cambrian Period is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1.0 Ma (million years ago). Cambria is the Latin name for Wales, where crucial specimens were found.

The Cambrian is the earliest period in whose rocks are found numerous large, distinctly fossilizable multicellular organisms that are more complex than sponges or medusoids. This sudden appearance of hard body fossils is referred to as the Cambrian explosion.

Cambrian in "The Genetics Lecture"[]

During the Cambrian Period, a mutation endowed at least one species of mollusk with 13 sets of Hox genes. This advantage allowed one mollusk species to achieve sentience and dominate the world.[1]

Cambrian in "No Period"[]

A Jewish-American writer contemplated his failed first marriage, and wondered if it might have worked in some alternate timeline. After considering and discarding a number of possibilities, he stopped the thought-experiment before contemplating the Cambrian explosion.[2]

Cambrian in "Worlds Enough, and Time"[]

A family of space-travelers from another galaxy visited Earth during the Cambrian Period. While there, they released animals from a failing aquarium, causing the Cambrian explosion.