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Fossils and Time. What’s a Fossil?. Defined as any remains, trace, or imprint of an animal or plant that has been preserved in Earth’s crust during prehistoric times.

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what s a fossil
What’s a Fossil?
  • Defined as any remains, trace, or imprint of an animal or plant that has been preserved in Earth’s crust during prehistoric times.
  • Not all fossils are the remains of once-living organisms; some are just traces left behind like burrows, tracks, and droppings (poop).
how do fossils form
How do fossils form?
  • Conditions must be ‘just right’
  • When a plant or animal dies, the remains must be buried quickly before decomposition takes place.
  • The hard parts such as shells, bones, and teeth are usually the remains most often found as fossils.
  • It can take millions of years for sediments to turn into rock
  • A mold of a shell may be left if the shell dissolves over time.
  • Sometimes, minerals may fill the mold forming a cast that duplicates the original shell.
  • That process is called replacement.
  • Petrifaction is a process that occurs in wood. When water with lots of minerals in it fills the pores of trees it turns it into rock.
  • Carbonization occurs when sediments flatten a plant and turn it into a thin, carbon film.
how does carbonization form coal
How does carbonization form coal?
  • Write a 1-2 sentence summary on the process.
some amazing fossil exceptions
Some amazing fossil exceptions...
  • The Burgess Shale in British Columbia is famous for its soft-bodied fossils.
what are the major fossil groups
What are the major fossil groups?
  • Corals: horn-shaped sea creatures
  • Bivalves: shellfish like clams or mussels
  • Brachiopods: type of shellfish now nearly extinct with symmetrical shells
  • Gastropods: snail-like animals
  • Cephalopods: free-swimming squid-like creatures with shells
  • Trilobites: extinct sea creatures similar to the horseshoe crab
  • Crinoids: known as sea lilies
  • Plant fossils: widespread, but sparse. Mostly ferns
the law of fossil succession
The Law of Fossil Succession
  • The kinds of animals and plants found as fossils change over time.
  • They succeed after one another in a definite recognizable order
  • This is how we know the relative age of rock layers.
  • If we find the same kind of fossils in rocks from different places, we can infer the rocks are the same age.
index fossils
Index Fossils
  • Organisms that had short lives, but are excellent time markers pinpointing the age of rock layers
  • The best index fossils are the ones with a wide geographic existence, are abundant, and easily identifiable.