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Lecture12_handout_21Sep11 - BioG1780 Evolution and...

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BioG1780 Fall 2011 Evolution and Biodiversity Today’s lecturer: Amy McCune Lectures 12: Sept 21, 2011 1 Fossils: stuck between a rock and a hard place This is the second of three lectures on the fossil record and what this record tells us about the history of life on earth. Today we consider the process of fossilization, the interpretation of the fossil record, and some examples of important fossils or fossil assemblages. And finally, we consider the unique role that the fossil record plays in the study of evolution. Readings for this lecture: Ch. 2 (Section on "Evidence from the Fossil Record"), pp. 44-49; Ch. 18 (Section 18.1), pp 689-694. I. Fossils as evidence of past life A. The fossil record is a remarkable sample of past life. B. The processes of fossilization introduce bias in the fossil record. 1. The fossil record is a sampling of past life. 2. Different organisms & parts of organisms vary in likelihood of preservation. 3. Some past environments are more likely to be represented in the fossil record.
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