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Earth History & Evolution
Terms in this set (22)
Evidence of past life preserved in rock;
Different kinds of fossils are:
Petrified fossil: minerals replace all or part of an organism
Mold: a hollow area in sediment in the shape of an organism or part of an organism;
formed when the organism makes an indentation that turns to rock over time
Cast: a solid copy of the shape of an organism; made by filling in a mold with
minerals that later turn to rock.
Carbon film: an extremely thin coating of carbon on rock; made when an organism
is squeezed by rock until only carbon remains
Trace fossil: evidence of activities of ancient organisms; may be tracks, burrows,
nest, or trail
Amber: a hardened resin, or sap, of evergreen trees; organisms that get trapped in
the sticky substance becomes part of the rock
Frozen remains: organisms caught in ice or snow
uses information about rock layers and the fossil record to determine the age relationships between rocks
any method of measuring the age of an event or object in years
Law of Superposition
states that the oldest rocks lie on the bottom and the youngest rocks are on top of any undisturbed sequence of sedimentary rocks
a fossil known to have lived in a particular geologic age that can be used to date the rock layer in which it is found
the process in which a radioactive isotope tends to break down into a stable isotope of the same element or another element
Geologic time scale
The standard method used to divide the Earth's long natural history into manageable parts
A term that typically describes a species that no longer has any known living individuals.
An igneous rock layer formed when magma hardens beneath Earth's surface.
A break in the earth's crust
A break in the geologic record created when rock layers are eroded or when sediment is not deposited for a long period of time.
A supercontinent containing all of Earth's land that existed about 225 million years ago.
The type of weathering in which rock is physically broken into smaller pieces
The process that breaks down rock through chemical changes
The hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass, broke up, and drifted to their present locations
Change in a kind of organism over time; process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms.
A process in which individuals that have certain inherited traits tend to survive and reproduce at higher rates than other individuals because of those traits.
The scientific study of heredity
A trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce
Any difference between individuals of the same species.
the structure or parts, taken as a whole
The view that most of earth's geological features are the result of slow, gradual processes that have been at work for millions or even billions of years.
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