Conodonts What are they and Why are they important?
Microfossil: Small fossil, usually less than one millimeter in diameter. Lived in Paleozoic era, became extinct in early Mesozoic. Very abundant: hundreds in just one sample.
Conodonts are only elements • Made of apatite, the elements are only preserved part of actual animal. • Contain a basal cavity and a cusp which has protrusions appearing. • Thought to be used as a filter device.
Importance • Because there are so many, they can be used to help correlate areas of time in the Paleozoic. • Conodonts elements can be used to figure out the climate changes in the Paleozoic. • Water depth or distance from shore.
Importance Continued… • Global rises and falls in sea level. • The great abundance helps with understanding the evolutionary relationships • Understanding geochemical characteristics of Paleozoic oceans.