Read e-book online An Introduction to Fossils and Minerals: Seeking Clues to PDF

By Jon Erickson

ISBN-10: 0816042365

ISBN-13: 9780816042364

ISBN-10: 143810961X

ISBN-13: 9781438109619

The research of fossils, minerals, and gem stones has performed an important roles in expanding our wisdom in regards to the Earth, the alterations the planet has undergone, 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 background. insurance comprises: a scientific therapy of Earth heritage, rock kinds, marine fossils, terrestrial fossils, crystals, gemstones, and valuable metals that offer insights into Earth's personality; the most up-tp-date facts on hand on such issues as international tectonics and faunal extinctions, together with a wealth of data in regards to the loss of life of dinosaurs; new applied sciences in detecting and conserving rocks and minerals; and the results of abrasion and weather alterations.

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

Example text

The fierce desert winds produced tremendous dust storms, and the dense dust suspended in the atmosphere blocked sunlight, keeping temperatures well below present-day averages. Most of the windblown sand deposits called loess in the central United States were laid down during the Pleistocene ice ages. The continental ice sheets contained approximately 10 million cubic miles of water and covered about one-third the land surface with glacial ice three times its current size. Adaptations to the cold climate allowed certain species of mammals to thrive in the ice-free regions of the northern lands.

Only under demanding geologic conditions that promote rapid burial with little predation or decomposition are the bodies of dead organisms preserved to withstand the rigors of time. Because species with hard body parts fossilize better than soft-bodied organisms, they are more likely to be represented in the fossil record and therefore present a skewed account of historic geology. Catastrophic extinction events appear to be virtually instantaneous in the fossil record because discerning a period of several thousand years over millions of years of geologic time is not possible.

The vertebrates did not set foot on dry land until nearly 100 million years after the plants appeared. The first to come ashore were the amphib- Figure 22 The extinct placoderms were heavily armored and extended 30 feet in length. 29 INTRODUCTION TO FOSSILS AND MINERALS Figure 23 The emergence of plants from the sea onto the land. ians, which evolved into reptiles, which in turn gave rise to the dinosaurs. Dinosaur bones are abundant in Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments in many parts of the United States, particularly in the West.

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An Introduction to Fossils and Minerals: Seeking Clues to the Earth's Past (Living Earth) by Jon Erickson


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