Fossils 2 - -Interlude D (2nd Ed) -Interlude E (3rd Ed)...

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Memories of Past Life: Fossils and Evolution Part 2 -Interlude D (2 nd Ed) -Interlude E (3 rd Ed)
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Fossil Preservation Factors 1or more of the following factors must be in place for fossilization to occur: 1.Death in an anoxic (oxygen-poor) environment Oxidation reactions happen slowly, scavenging organisms are not abundant, bacterial metabolism is very slow 1.Rapid burial The organism is buried before it has time to rot, oxidize, be eaten, be completely broken up, or be consumed by burrowing organisms
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Fossil Preservation Factors 3. The presence of hard parts Soft flesh decays long before hard parts (shells or skeletons) Paleontologists know more about the fossil record of bivalves than jellyfish or spiders 3. Lack of metamorphism Metamorphism may destroy fossils, dissolving them away or causing recrystallization and obscuring fossil’s shape
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Fossil Preservation Preservation Potential (PP): the likelihood that an organism will be buried and eventually transformed into a fossil Ex. Typical modern day shallow-marine environment 30% of organisms have sturdy shells, high PP Few die in a depositional setting where they actually can become fossilized 40% have fragile shells, low PP 30% have no parts at all, very low PP
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http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/G104/lectures/104rox.html Bahamas – ex. of a modern day shallow marine environment
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Extraordinary Fossils Occur when soft organisms or soft parts are preserved in the rock record Paleontologists have discovered a few special locations of this occurrence Special location examples: Anoxic floor of lakes or lagoons Deep ocean Where oxidation cannot occur Flesh does not rot before burial
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2012 for the course GEOLOGY 1122 taught by Professor Sethrose during the Fall '10 term at Georgia State University, Atlanta.

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Fossils 2 - -Interlude D (2nd Ed) -Interlude E (3rd Ed)...

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