Download Early life : the Cambrian period - Thom Holmes by Thom Holmes PDF

By Thom Holmes

From the preliminary indicators of existence within the Precambrian interval to the tip of the Cambrian interval approximately 488 million years in the past, this quantity explores the advance of adolescence that culminated in a single of the main striking sessions within the evolution of lifestyles on the earth.

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Gravity makes rain fall to the ground. Gravity causes rivers to flow 30 Early Life downstream and the oceans to shift with the tides. Gravity also makes objects—falling leaves, crumbling dirt, and blowing sand, for example—fall to the ground. The movement of water, especially in rivers, lakes, and oceans, causes dramatic and visible changes to the ground. A river slowly but constantly changes its course, depositing mud in some places, eroding mud away in others. The same mud that is carried away by the river may also be deposited downstream, building up layers of sand and dirt where there was little before.

Absolute dating specifies the age of a fossil within a range of years. Page 56 Blank SECTION TWO: HOW PREHISTORIC LIFE IS REVEALED 3 FOSSILS: CLUES TO PASR AST LIFE Fossils are a window to prehistoric life. Paleontologists use fossils to form a view of the structure and lifestyles of extinct organisms. Organisms that become fossilized range from the smallest microorganisms to the largest animals on the planet, including those that live on land or in the sea. Without fossils, there would be few clues to the history of life before humans.

Molds and Casts Sometimes the buried body parts of an organism completely dissolve away. This can happen when the ground water seeping through the fossil is acidic because of minerals in the surrounding earth. When the body part dissolves away, it leaves a hollow, or mold, of the original part. This happens frequently with fossil seashells, which are the bodies of extinct invertebrates. A mold can retain the finest detail of the shape and surface texture of the original body part. A mold fossil is similar to the impression that can be made by pressing one’s fingertip into a piece of soft clay; close inspection reveals that the whorl of one’s fingerprint is left in the mold.

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