Fossil Record - Research Article from World of Earth Science

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Fossil Record

The fossil record is the record of life on Earth as it is preserved in rock as fossils. The fossil record provides evidence of when and how life began on the planet, what types of organisms existed and how long they persisted, how they lived, died, and evolved, and what the climate was and how it changed. The fossil record also has allowed scientists to correlate rocks on a worldwide basis and to determine the relative ages of rock formations.

Fossils record life by preserving remains of organisms. A fossil is a rare thing. Most organisms decay and disappear quickly after dying. Of the tiny minority of organisms that do become preserved as fossils, an even smaller fraction survives the geologic cycle to become exposed and visible. As a result the fossil record is incomplete; there is no record of most organisms that probably lived and...

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This section contains 944 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Fossil Record Encyclopedia Article
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World of Earth Science
Fossil Record from World of Earth Science. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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