Evidence for Evolution Paleontology Paleontology is key to the study of evolution for two reasons. 1. The discovery of fossils showing forms of animals that had never previously been seen began to cast serious doubt upon creationist theories . 2. Fossils provide the only direct evidence of the history of evolution. Today, whereas molecular biology might be used to study microevolution, or the development of individual species, paleontology is used to study Macroevolution , or large evolutionary trends. Techniques and Principles of Paleontology What is a fossil? Generally, we think of bones, shells, or teeth that are buried in rock, but fossils can also be outlines of leaves or footprints or trails. This second set of fossils, which are the outlines of items from the past rather than the items themselves, are called trace fossils. Fossils are formed when sediment covers some material, such as a piece of bone. Very gradually, the bone becomes impregnated with chemicals from the surrounding rock. Eventually all that
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