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Fossils

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  • 1. II. What are Fossils?  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.
  • 2. II. Altered vs. Unaltered Remains
  • 3. A. 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. B. 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. a. Trace fossils are indirect evidence of prehistoric life.  Can tell us about the activity, habitat, diet, etc. of an animal  Examples: Tracks, shelters, and poop III. Indirect evidence
  • 6. Not the ACTUAL Fossil!
  • 7. IV. Preserved Fossil Types  Conditions Favoring Preservation Most organisms do not become fossils… • Two conditions are important for preservation: rapid burial and the possession of hard parts.
  • 8. What are the different kinds of fossils?
  • 9. Amber
  • 10. #1 Amber
  • 11. #2 Asphalt/Tar □ Asphalt wells up in thick sticky pools. □ Trapped and preserved organisms in asphalt.
  • 12. #3 Petrified Fossils □ A process in which minerals replace the organism’s tissues. □ Different types: □Pore space in bone/wood fills up with mineral □Organisms tissues are replaced by minerals
  • 13. #4 Frozen
  • 14. Molds and Casts
  • 15. VI. Environments a. Interpreting Environments • Fossils can also be used to interpret and describe ancient environments and changes that occurred (polar areas once being tropical) • They can identify extinct species and effects of catastrophism (floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes). • They can describe geologic changes (mountains once under water, Pangaea) Shark tooth in Georgia?!?!
  • 16. b. Fossils on a Mountaintop? □ Rocks on the mountain formed at the bottom of the ocean. □ Using fossils, scientists can tell whether the climate was cooler or more wet than present.