The fossil record
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The Fossil Record. Know that fossils provide evidence of how life on Earth has developed from simple life forms and be able to suggest reasons why scientists cannot be certain how life began

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The fossil record

The Fossil Record

Know that fossils provide evidence of how life on Earth has developed from simple life forms and be able to suggest reasons why scientists cannot be certain how life began

Know that studying the similarities and differences between species helps us to understand evolutionary relationships

HSW – learn that the credibility of the evidence may increase if it is consistent with existing ideas or scientific consensus


Learning outcomes
Learning Outcomes

  • All can describe what is a fossil

  • Most can explain what a fossil is and suggest reasons why scientists cannot be certain about how life began on Earth

  • Some can evaluate what can be learnt from the fossil record


Consider all possibilities
Consider all possibilities

Life began on Earth

What does this statement mean?


Possible answers include
Possible answers include:

  • Life started on Earth

  • God created the Earth

  • Life arrived from space

    And many more!


Looking back in time
Looking back in time

The rocks at the top of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, are 250 million years old. Those at the bottom are 2 billion years old.

Why did the rocks form in layers?

Why do so many people want a closer look at them?


What are fossils
What are fossils?

The rocks are formed from sediments and many contain fossils.

Fossils are the preserved remains, impressions or traces of animals, plants and other organisms that lived millions of years ago.

Some fossils contain the mineralized remains of the organism. In other cases, the remains have been completely dissolved and what is left is an impression, which may later fill with minerals to produce a cast of the organism.



What does the fossil record show
What does the fossil record show?

The history of life on Earth as shown by fossils is called the fossil record.

Although there are gaps in the fossil record, it helps to tell the evolutionary story of past and present-day organisms. It can showhow the changes in an organism were linked to changes in its habitat.

The fossil record can also show how different species evolved from common ancestors.



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