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12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life . On page 67 of your notebook, draw the following table: After we have completed this section, we will come back to this table to complete it as well. 12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life . Anticipation Guide

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12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life


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    1. 12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life On page 67 of your notebook, draw the following table: After we have completed this section, we will come back to this table to complete it as well.

    2. 12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life Anticipation Guide Also on page 67, copy and complete the following T/F questions. It is okay if you do not know the answer … you will know the answer once we are finished with this section. T/F: Fossils are the remains or traces of prehistoric life. T/F: Fossils can be used to explain life forms and climates throughout time. T/F: Indirect evidence of fossils are of no worth. T/F: Only large organisms can be fossilized. T/F: Fossils have no importance when studying rocks, especially sedimentary.

    3. Fossil Formation 12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life  Fossils are the remains or traces of prehistoric life. They are important components of sediment and sedimentary rocks.  The type of fossil that is formed is determined by the conditions under which an organism died and how it was buried.  Unaltered Remains • Some remains of organisms—such as teeth, bones, and shells—may not have been altered, or may have changed hardly at all over time.

    4. Fossil Formation 12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life  Altered Remains • The remains of an organism are likely to be changed over time. • Fossils often become petrified or turned to stone. • Molds and casts are another common type of fossil. • Carbonization is particularly effective in preserving leaves and delicate animals. It occurs when an organism is buried under fine sediment.

    5. Types of Fossilization Carbonization of bee remains Impression of prehistoric fish Insect in amber (hardened sap of ancient trees) Track (dinosaur footprint) Petrified wood Casts of shelled organism

    6. Fossil Formation 12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life  Indirect Evidence • Trace fossils are indirect evidence of prehistoric life.  Conditions Favoring Preservation • Two conditions are important for preservation: rapid burial and the possession of hard parts.  Interpreting Environments • Fossils can also be used to interpret and describe ancient environments.

    7. Fossils and Correlation 12.2 Fossils: Evidence of Past Life  The principle of fossil succession states that fossil organisms succeed one another in a definite and determinable order. Therefore, any time period can be recognized by its fossil content.  Index fossils are widespread geographically, are limited to a short span of geologic time, and occur in large numbers.

    8. Overlapping Ranges of Fossils Which time range represents the oldest period? How do you know? Can you use this diagram to determine the actual ages of rocks and fossils? Why or why not? Overlapping ranges of fossils help date rocks more exactly than using a single fossil. The fossils contained in rock unit A all have overlapping age ranges in time 4. The fossils in rock unit B have overlapping age ranges in time 2.

    9. Basic Atomic Structures 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity  Orbiting the nucleus are electrons, which are negative electrical charges.  Atomic number is the number of protons in the atom’s nucleus.  Mass number is the number of protons plus the number of neutrons in an atom’s nucleus.

    10. Radioactivity 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity  Radioactivity is the spontaneous decay of certain unstable atomic nuclei.

    11. Half-Life 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity  A half-life is the amount of time necessary for one-half of the nuclei in a sample to decay to a stable isotope.

    12. The Half-Life Decay Curve

    13. Radiometric Dating 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity  Each radioactive isotope has been decaying at a constant rate since the formation of the rocks in which it occurs.  Radiometric dating is the procedure of calculating the absolute ages of rocks and minerals that contain radioactive isotopes.

    14. Radiometric Dating 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity  As a radioactive isotope decays, atoms of the daughter product are formed and accumulate.  An accurate radiometric date can be obtained only if the mineral remained in a closed system during the entire period since its formation.

    15. Importance of Radiometric Dating 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity  Radiometric dating has supported the ideas of James Hutton, Charles Darwin, and others who inferred that geologic time must be immense.

    16. Radioactive Isotopes Frequently Used in Radiometric Dating

    17. Dating with Carbon-14 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity  Radiocarbon dating is the method for determining age by comparing the amount of carbon-14 to the amount of carbon-12 in a sample.  When an organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 it contains gradually decreases as it decays. By comparing the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in a sample, radiocarbon dates can be determined.

    18. Using Radiometric Methods to Help Date Sedimentary Rocks