Earth Science

Earth History

Earth History and Clues from Fossils

Study Tip
Techniques such as terracing farms have been in use in South American and Asian countries for centuries

Clues from Fossils

  • A fossil is the best form of evidence about the Earth’s history and the history of life.
  • Fossils can even give us information about the climates, plate tectonics, and geological events of the past.
  • Fossils found in older rocks are less similar to modern organisms because they were formed much earlier.
  • The environment of deposition can show us whether the region was terrestrial or marine.
  • The amount of wear and fragmentation can tell us what happened after the organism’s death.
  • Marine fossils in rock can indicate that the region was once underwater.
  • The relative climate of a particular time period can be deciphered if scientists have a general understanding of how similar organisms live today.
  • Index fossils can be used to identify a specific period of time. Organisms that make good index fossils are distinctive, widespread, and lived briefly.
Study Tip
Techniques such as terracing farms have been in use in South American and Asian countries for centuries
Clues from Fossils
Fossils like these can give indication of whether or not the surrounding area was aquatic or terrestrial.
Concept Check
  • What types of information can a fossil give us?