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

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By Jon Erickson

The examine of fossils, minerals, and gem stones has performed an important roles in expanding our wisdom concerning the Earth, the alterations the planet has passed through, and the species that experience inhabited it. This quantity introduces the interesting disciplines of geology, paleontology, and mineralogy, and the way they display secrets and techniques of the Earth's historical past. assurance contains: a scientific remedy of Earth heritage, rock kinds, marine fossils, terrestrial fossils, crystals, gem stones, and worthwhile metals that offer insights into Earth's personality; the most up-tp-date information on hand on such issues as worldwide tectonics and faunal extinctions, together with a wealth of knowledge in regards to the loss of life of dinosaurs; new applied sciences in detecting and retaining rocks and minerals; and the consequences of abrasion and weather adjustments.

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

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In addition, the odds of any individual’s becoming fossilized after death, and thus entering the fossil record, are extremely small. No single fossil sample will contain all the rare species in an assemblage of species. If this sample were compared with another higher up in the stratigraphic column, which represents a later time in geologic history, an overlapping but different set of rare species would be recorded. Species found in the lower sample but not in the upper sample might erroneously be inferred to have gone extinct.

The changes in continental configuration greatly affected global temperatures, ocean currents, productivity, and many other factors of fundamental importance to life. When most of the land huddled near the equatorial regions (Fig. 26), the climate was warm, but when lands wandered into the polar regions the climate grew cold and brought periods of glaciation. The changing shapes of the ocean basins due to the movement of continents affect the flow of ocean currents, the width of continental margins, and, consequently, the abundance of marine habitats.

13 INTRODUCTION TO FOSSILS AND MINERALS Figure 9 A redbed formation on the east side of the Bighorn Mountains, Johnson County, Wyoming. (Photo by N. H. Darton, courtesy USGS) Huge lava flows and granitic intrusions invaded Siberia, and extensive lava flows covered South America, Africa, and Antarctica as well. In South America, great floods of basalt, upward of 2,000 feet or more thick, blanketed large parts of Brazil and Argentina. Triassic basalts in eastern North America erupted from a great rift that separated the continent from Eurasia.

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