Paleobiolog1 - standard shells bones petrified wood and...

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Paleobiology: The Study of Fossils and Life That Once Was Ask a child what interests them about biology and you will not find (in most cases anyway) a child interested in DNA and molecular biology, but rather a child wanting to know about dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, and creatures more at home in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings than seen walking about the modern world. We retain this thirst for the creatures of the past, as evidenced by the mass popularity of the Jurassic Park books and movies, popular books by a number of paleobiologists, and numerous television programs, such as Walking With Dinosaurs . Some of us have managed to keep this intereswt and enthusiasm for the life of the past. We are paleobiologists, a term that literally means "old studiers of life", although I prefer "study of ancient life" as I myself become more ancient! Fossils are any evidence of past life. This is a very broad definition that includes the
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Unformatted text preview: standard shells, bones, petrified wood, and leaves. However, there are many more things that can become fossils: footprints, pollen, feeding traces, worm burrows, even fossilzed feces. Scientists have begun to study fossil DNA mand other biochemicals. Fossils can range from miniscule bacteria to behemoth dinosaurs that would shake the ground as they walked. Aside from the beauty of their patterns and textures, fossils tell us about what the life of the past looked like, and in some cases, how it lived and behaved. The ancient Greeks thought fossils were the remains of once-living creatures. During the Middle Ages fossils were viewed as artifacts the Devil put there to tempt people's faith. The seventeenth century work of Leonardo Da Vinci and Nicholas Steno (among others) finally led to the widespread recognition of fossils as the remains of creatures, many of which had no living similar forms....
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course BIO BSC1010 taught by Professor Gwenhauner during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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