Fossil Evidence of Evolution
Terms in this set (26)
The preserved remains or traces of organisms that once lived on Earth.
An organism dies, layers of sediment cover the organism's body, over millions of years the sediments harden to become rocks, the rock eroads and the fossil is exposed on the surface of the rock; hard parts usually remain, soft parts usually break down
minerals in the water take the place of the organism's original material and harden into rock; example: petrified wood
when a dead plant or animal is subjected to pressure over time, the pressure drives off the organism's liquids and gases; example: a plant or fish
a type of fossil formed when a shell or other hard part of an organism dissolves, leaving an empty space in the shape of the part
a type of fossil that forms when a mold becomes filled in with minerals that then harden
when an organism gets trapped in tar, amber, or ice
What can fossils tell us about time?
species of living things found on Earth change over time
the millions of fossils that scientists have collected
How do scientists determine the age of fossils?
scientists use the age of the rocks in which the fossils are found; the two main ways are relative-age and absolute-age dating
the order in which rock layers formed; a way to describe the age of one object or event compared to another object or event; also known as Law of Superposition
a rocks age in years determined by using radioactive decay
law of superposition
the top rock layer and its fossils is the youngest and the bottom is the oldest.
a fossil that is useful for dating and correlating the strata in which it is found.
geological time scale
the standard method used to divide the Earth's history into different time units; uses eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages
eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages
divisions of time on the geological scale;
age of Earth
4.6 billion years old
age of first life on earth
approximately 3.4 billion years old
the era YOU live in
the eon YOU live in
a term that typically describes a species that no longer has any known living individuals
an event in which many types of living things become extinct at the same time
What can cause extinctions?
the environment: sudden changes like volcanoes and meteorites, gradual changes like plate tectonics
How do patterns help scientist understand how species have changed?
patterns are noticed as scientists find more fossils; similar body plans and body parts show change over time in what appears to be a sequence in populations of related organisms
fossils that provide patterns of evolutionary change from the early ancestors to modern life forms; shows transitions from one type to another
a type of fossil that is a preserved evidence of activity from an organism; example: tracks left from a dinosaur
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