A. Clues from Fossils 1. Fossils are used as evidence of evolution. 2. Fossils are created when plants/animals die and become covered with silt and mud. a. Over millions of years rock forms and the imprint of the organism is left on the rock. 3. The Green River Formation (textbook pg 163) is on of the richest fossil deposits in the world.
B. Types of Fossils 1. Most of the evidence for evolution comes from fossils. 2. Most fossils are found in SEDIMENTARY rock. a. Sedimentary rock is formed when layers of sand, silt, clay, or mud are compacted and cemented together, or when minerals are deposited from a solution. b. Limestone, Sandstone, and Shale are all examples of sedimentary rocks. 3. Fossils are found more often in limestone than in any other kind of sedimentary rock. 4. The fossil record provides evidence that living things have evolved.
C. Determining a Fossils Age 1. Paleontologists are scientists who study the history of life on Earth. a. The use clues provided by unique rock layers and the fossils they contain. i. Provide info about geology, weather, and life forms that were present during the geological time period. 2. Two basic methods used: a. Relative dating and radiometric dating.
3. Relative Dating a. Relative dating is based on the idea that in undisturbed areas, younger rock layers are deposited on top of older rock layers. (See diagram below)
3. (Relative Dating continued) b. Provides only an estimate of a fossils age. c. Estimate made by comparing the ages of the rock layers found above and below the fossil layer. d. Example: i. A 50 million year old rock layer lies below a fossil, and a 35 million year old layer lies above it; the fossil would then be between 35 million and 50 million years old.
4. Radiometric Dating a. Gives scientists a more accurate reading. b. Uses a radioactive elements. c. Process of radiometric dating (Video Clip Next Slide)
D. Fossils and Evolution 1. Fossils provide a record of organisms that live in the past. a. Fossil record does have gaps…like missing pages in a book. b. Gap exists b/c most organisms DO NOT become fossils. 2. Because of fossils, scientists have concluded: a. Simpler life forms existed earlier. b. More complex life forms appeared later. 3. Fossils provide indirect evidence that evolution has occurred on Earth. 4. Fossils can be use to make models that show what the organism might have looked like.
D. Fossils and Evolution (continued) 5. From fossils scientists can sometimes determine: a. Whether they lived in groups or alone. b. What type of food they ate. c. What kind of environment they lived in. 6. Most fossils represent extinct organisms. 7. From fossil records, scientists have concluded that more than 99% of all organisms that have ever existed on Earth are now extinct. WOW!!!!!!
E. More Clues About Evolution 1. Sometimes Evolution can be observed directly without fossils. a. Plant breeders observe evolution when they use cross breeding to produce genetic changes in plants. b. The development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is another example. c. Entomologists (study insects) have noted similar rapid evolution of pesticide resistant insect species. 2. Indirect Evidence of Evolution a. Indirect evidence does not provide proof of evolution, but it does support the idea that evolution takes place over time.
F. Embryology 1. The study of embryos and their development is called embryology. a. Embryo= earliest growth stage of an organism. b. The similarities of Figure 12 suggest and evolutionary relationship among all vertebrate species.
G. Homologous Structures 1. Body parts that are similar in origin and structure are called homologous. 2. Homologous structures can also be similar in function. 3. They often indicate that two or more speciec share common ancestors.
H. Vestigial Structures 1. Vestigial Structures are structures that don’t seem to have a function. 2. They provide evidence of evolution. a. Manatees, snakes, and whales no longer have back legs, but like all animals with legs, they still have pelvic bones. 3. The human appendix is a vestigial structure a. Appears to be small version of the cecum, which is an important part of the digestive tract of many mammals.
I. DNA 1. Examination of ancient DNA often provides additional evidence of how some species evolved from their extinct ancestors. 2. Scientists can also determine how closely related organisms are, for example, DNA studies indicate that dogs are the closest relatives of bears.