Fossils can help to match rocks of the same age, even when you find those rocks a long way apart. This matching process is called correlation, which has been an important process in constructing geological timescales. Rocks in different places can be put into separate time sequences.
How do fossils help us put together a geologic timeline?
They can help us determine the geologic age and environment (the paleoenvironment) in which they were deposited. Finally, and if the fossil record is complete enough, their study can help us better understand the evolution (or progression) of life through geologic time.
How is geologic time measured and what role do fossils play in dating geologic events?
The geologic time scale was developed after scientists observed changes in the fossils going from oldest to youngest sedimentary rocks. Later, scientists used absolute dating to determine the actual number of years ago that events happened. The geologic time scale is divided into eons, eras, periods, and epochs.
How does fossil dating provide evidence of Earths geologic history?
The Fossil Record Scientists date and categorize fossils to determine when the organisms lived relative to each other. The resulting fossil record tells the story of the past and shows the evolution of forms over millions of years.
Why are fossils important for studying evolution?
Evidence for early forms of life comes from fossils. By studying fossils, scientists can learn how much (or how little) organisms have changed as life developed on Earth. There are gaps in the fossil record because many early forms of life were soft-bodied, which means that they have left few traces behind.
What is the importance of geologic time scale?
The geologic time scale is an important tool used to portray the history of the Earth—a standard timeline used to describe the age of rocks and fossils, and the events that formed them. It spans Earths entire history and is separated into four principle divisions.
Why is fossil record important?
The fossil record helps paleontologists, archaeologists, and geologists place important events and species in the appropriate geologic era. With every new fossil discovery, our understanding of the environment in a particular time becomes richer.
What are the 2 main divisions of geologic time?
Geologists generally agree that there are two major eons: the Precambrian eon and the Phanerozoic eon.
What best describes the fossil record?
The definition of a fossil record is “the record of the occurrence and evolution of living organisms through geological time as inferred from fossils.” By studying fossils, scientists learn how different organisms changed over time, which serves as the best evidence of evolution.