Fossils Information

Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous rock formations and sedimentary layers is known as the fossil record. The study of fossils across geological time, how they were formed, and the evolutionary relationships between taxa are some of the most important functions of the science of paleontology. Such a preserved specimen is called a "fossil" if it is older than some minimum age, most often the arbitrary date of 10,000 years ago. Hence, fossils range in age from the youngest at the start of the Holocene Epoch to the oldest from the Archaean Eon several billion years old. The observations that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led early geologists to recognize a geological timescale in the 19th century. The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed geologists to determine the numerical or "absolute" age of the various strata and thereby the included fossils.

Like extant organisms, fossils vary in size from microscopic, such as single bacterial cells only one micrometer in diameter, to gigantic, such as dinosaurs and trees many meters long and weighing many tons. A fossil normally preserves only a portion of the deceased organism, usually that portion that was partially mineralized during life, such as the bones and teeth of vertebrates, or the chitinous exoskeletons of invertebrates. Preservation of soft tissues is rare in the fossil record. Fossils may also consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as the footprint or feces of a reptile. These types of fossil are called trace fossils , as opposed to body fossils. Finally, past life leaves some markers that cannot be seen but can be detected in the form of biochemical signals; these are known as chemofossils or biomarkers.

Fossil sites with exceptional preservation — sometimes including preserved soft tissues — are known as Lagerstätten. These formations may have resulted from carcass burial in an anoxic environment with minimal bacteria, thus delaying decomposition. Lagerstätten span geological time from the Cambrian period to the present. Worldwide, some of the best examples of near-perfect fossilization are the Cambrian Maotianshan shales and Burgess Shale, the Devonian Hunsrück Slates, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone, and the Carboniferous Mazon Creek localities.

Wikipedia, Fossils, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossils (as of Apr 1, 2010)

Fossils Books

Log in or join now now to suggest Fossils books.

Fossils Videos

Log in or join now now to suggest Fossils videos.
Loading...

Fossils Links

Fossils is in LifeKnot's Collecting category. See more Collecting activites.
Log in or join now now to suggest Fossils links.

Fossils Tweeps

Log in or join now now to suggest tweeps the tweet about Fossils.

Fossils Gear

Log in or join now now to suggest Fossils gear.

Fossils Gurus

gu · ru [goo-roo] : one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and experience in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. Log in or join now now to designate yourself or someone you know a Fossils guru.

LifeKnot members interested in Fossils

There are no members listing that activity with photos and the criteria you specified.
Perform detail search (doesn't require photos).


LifeKnot ∞ Meet people that share your interests.
Copyright © 2018 LifeKnot, LLC. All rights reserved.
find us on facebook ©
follow us on twitter
Process time: 0.0305 seconds.