The background of life ~ above our earth is a long and winding path. Much of what us know around how life has evolved comes from fossils. The physical continues to be of organisms and the evidence of behaviors, such together footprints, tell united state where, how, and also who ancient life was. Uncovering the fossil record requires scientists with numerous different locations of expertise, consisting of geology. Expertise geology is critical to examining paleontology due to the fact that fossils are preserved in rock. The qualities of the rocks that host fossils can be as informative as the fossils themselves.

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There are three main types of rock: igneous rock, metamorphic rock, and also sedimentary rock. Almost all fossils are maintained in sedimentary rock.

Organisms that live in topographically low locations (such as lakes or s basins) have the best chance of being preserved. This is since they are already in places where sediment is likely to ask them and also shelter them native scavengers and also decay. Mudstone, shale, and also limestone are instances of sedimentary rock most likely to save on computer fossils. Together the great of sediment develop up on optimal of one another, they produce a physical timeline. The oldest layers, along with the organisms that were fossilized together they formed, space deepest. The youngest layers are found at the top. Reading the great is facility by the fact that as continents move and also mountains rise, the layers are frequently tipped sideways and altered in various other ways.

Throughout the earth"s history, each of the 3 rock species has been repeatedly formed and also recycled into other types of rock in a procedure called the “rock cycle.” This makes the rock record fragmentary and daunting to read, however enough rock has actually been produced over time to tell united state a lot about the background of our planet.


Igneous rock is created by the cooling the molten rock, one of two people at the surface ar (lava), or secret (as granite or other similar rocks). The heat of molten rock generally incinerates organisms fairly than keeping them. There room some exceptions, such together tree trunks surrounded by lava and preserved as casts, but these are rare. 


Metamorphic rock is formed when existing absent is changed under high heat and pressure, which usually destroys any kind of fossils the were in the rock before it was metamorphosed. Because that example, marble is produced when limestone is pressure-cooked in ~ the earth, resulting in the minerals that create the stone to re-form into brand-new crystals.


Sedimentary rock is created by the build-up of minerals and other material. Together rocks in ~ the earth"s surface ar are damaged down, or “weathered,” the sediment is relocated by forces such as water and also wind and deposited elsewhere in layers. Over time, this layers build up and solidify, coming to be sedimentary rock. Organisms have the right to be preserved as fossils if their bodies are hidden within this layers.

Interactive Geology ProjectIGP is a team of scientists and animators based in ~ the college of Boulder whose mission is to illustrate straightforward principles of geology in entertain and available ways.

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A Brief history of v TimeThis 25-minute movie illustrates the geologic advancement of v time.

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