Download An Introduction to Fossils and Minerals: Seeking Clues to by Jon Erickson PDF

By Jon Erickson

The examine of fossils, minerals, and gemstones has performed the most important roles in expanding our wisdom concerning the Earth, the adjustments the planet has passed through, and the species that experience inhabited it. This quantity introduces the attention-grabbing disciplines of geology, paleontology, and mineralogy, and the way they show secrets and techniques of the Earth's heritage. insurance comprises: a scientific therapy of Earth heritage, rock kinds, marine fossils, terrestrial fossils, crystals, gemstones, and worthy metals that offer insights into Earth's personality; the most up-tp-date facts on hand on such issues as worldwide tectonics and faunal extinctions, together with a wealth of knowledge concerning the death of dinosaurs; new applied sciences in detecting and protecting rocks and minerals; and the results of abrasion and weather adjustments.

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Additional info for An Introduction to Fossils and Minerals: Seeking Clues to the Earth's Past (Living Earth)

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The first mass extinction occurred in the early Cambrian (530 mya) and decimated over 80 percent of all marine animal genera; it was one of the worst in geologic history. Another major die off during the middle Devonian (365 mya) witnessed the mass disappearance of many tropical marine groups. The greatest loss of life in the fossil record occurred at the end of the Permian (250 mya), when half the families of organisms comprising more than 95 percent of all marine species and 80 percent of all terrestrial species, disappeared.

R. Palmer, courtesy USGS) 28 clues to the past a primitive arthropod and ancestor of today’s horseshoe crab. They first appeared at the base of the Paleozoic era, about 570 million years ago. The trilobites became the dominant animals of the Paleozoic, diversifying into some 10,000 species before declining and becoming extinct after some 340 million years of existence. Because trilobites were so widespread and lived for so long, their fossils have become important markers (also called guide or index fossils) for dating Paleozoic rocks.

After sampling a little geologic history, the next chapter shows how fossils helped uncover clues to the past. 23 2 CLUES TO THE PAST THE PRINCIPLES OF PALEONTOLOGY F ossils have been known from ancient times, and perhaps the first to speculate on their origin were the early Greeks. The Greek philosophers recognized that seashells found in the mountains were the remains of once-living creatures. Although Aristotle clearly recognized that certain fossils such as fish bones were the remains of organisms, he generally believed that fossils were placed in the rocks by a celestial influence.

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