Lecture 2 notes

Lecture 2 notes - Lecture 2 What is the Fossil Record How...

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Lecture 2: What is the Fossil Record? How is it Biased? What are the kinds of questions paleontologists ask? Those that: Document historical patterns Investigate the process of evolution Devise the best methodology for accomplishing both Scientific method: Make observations Generate hypotheses to explain those observations Test hypotheses (assumptions and/or predictions) by gathering evidence Reject some (ideally all but one) - what's left is most probable, given the evidence in hand What does the fossil record represent? What is the nature of the evidence it provides us? What characterizes individual organisms today? How might these characteristics influence the probability of preservation with the fossil record? Biological characteristics that make an organism more likely to be preserved in the fossil record: Anatomical: With hard (mineralized) skeletons Thick/dense skeletons Skeletons of one part (more difficult to break apart) Molted skeletons (animal makes >1 per lifetime)
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2011 for the course GEL 107 taught by Professor Motani during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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Lecture 2 notes - Lecture 2 What is the Fossil Record How...

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