004a-Earth History - Fossils and the Discovery of Earth...

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Fossils and the Discovery of Earth History
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FOSSIL Evidence of the existence of past life
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Problems with using fossils: 1. only organisms with hard parts will be fossilized and leave a record 2. if you find a fossil in a certain place, it doesn’t mean it lived there; example- continent moved after extinction 3. record is uneven in time and area 4. many fossils that get preserved are a dead end 5. most of record is lost or unexplored; missing link- look at homonids
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Benefits of using fossils: 1. provides evidence that it once existed 2. provides minimum ages 3. documents extinction’s 4. use them to put together scenarios in paleoclimatology or extinction/immigration scenarios----- complete record with Hyracotherium
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Horse Evolution
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Horse Evolution Timeline Hyracotherium 55 mya EOCENE ERA Mesohippus 40 mya OLIGOCENE ERA Miohippus 30 mya OLIGOCENE ERA Merychippus 20 mya OLIGOCENE ERA Pliohippus 10 mya OLIGOCENE ERA Equus 4 mya MODERN ERA
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Hyracotherium 55 mya Miohippus 35 mya Merychippus 17 mya Equus modern Note: diagram is scaled so organisms appear to be the same size
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TYPES OF FOSSILS Body Fossils Remains of the organism itself Trace Fossils Evidence of the movement or activity of the organism
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Body Fossils stingray fish
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TRACE FOSSILS Tracks and Trails Burrows and Borings Coprolites
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Trace Fossils Tracks Trails
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Trace Fossils Burrows & Borings This section of fossil conifer wood is Cretaceous of the Antarctic Peninsula.
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2011 for the course OCN 201 taught by Professor Decarlo,e during the Summer '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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004a-Earth History - Fossils and the Discovery of Earth...

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