Fossils are important in understanding the history of the world because they provide physical evidence of animals and plants that lived in the past. Through their discovery, paleontologists uncover new ideas about former life on earth.Continue Reading
Fossils are the remains, impressions or traces of organisms that existed millions of years ago. Body fossils are the actual remnants of organisms that have been naturally preserved, such as bones, teeth, scales, shells and skeletons. Usually, fossils are preserved in sedimentary rock and bodies of water.
Paleontologists also find trace fossils, which are indirect signs of an organism's existence. An example of a trace fossil is a footprint or mark in the sediment, suggesting the movement pattern of organisms.
Through fossils, paleontologists have uncovered information about the anatomy and behavior of organisms, evolution of life and habitat development. The earliest fossils are believed to be of marine mammals from the Precambrian era.Learn more about Anthropology
Palaeontologists locate, collect and study fossils, according to the Falls of the Ohio State Park. Palaeontologists also record the history of life on Earth, ranging from the smallest bacteria to massive dinosaurs.Full Answer >
The principle of fossil succession states that groups of fossils appear in a chronological order through their vertical placement in sedimentary rocks. In the same way that the oldest rocks are found in the bottom layer of the earth, the oldest fossils also followed the same chronology as they appear in the same set of rock layers, or strata.Full Answer >
Index fossils have several important characteristics, such as wide geographic abundance, easy identification and a relatively short geological existence. These characteristics make the fossils useful for identifying the age of the geologic formations where they are found.Full Answer >
Iron was available to some of the world's oldest civilizations as early as 1500 B.C., although some accounts place its discovery as far back as 2500 B.C. It is called a "Metal of Antiquity" and was first obtained from meteorites that had fallen to earth.Full Answer >