An Introduction to Fossils and Minerals: Seeking Clues to - download pdf or read online

By Jon Erickson

The examine of fossils, minerals, and gemstones has performed the most important roles in expanding our wisdom concerning the Earth, the alterations the planet has passed through, and the species that experience inhabited it. This quantity introduces the interesting disciplines of geology, paleontology, and mineralogy, and the way they show secrets and techniques of the Earth's historical past. insurance comprises: a scientific therapy of Earth historical past, rock forms, marine fossils, terrestrial fossils, crystals, gemstones, and beneficial metals that supply insights into Earth's personality; the most up-tp-date info to be had on such issues as worldwide tectonics and faunal extinctions, together with a wealth of data in regards to the death of dinosaurs; new applied sciences in detecting and protecting rocks and minerals; and the results of abrasion and weather adjustments.

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Therefore, a sudden break in geologic time might in reality have extended over a lengthy period. These might develop novel adaptations that give them a survival advantage over other species. The adaptations might lead to exotic-looking species that prosper during normal background times, but because of their overspecialization are incapable of surviving mass extinctions. Therefore, the fossil record shows myriad strange creatures, the likes of which have never been seen since (Fig. 29). Figure 29 Helicoplacus, an experimental species with body parts assembled differently from those of every other living creature, became extinct about 510 million years ago after surviving for 20 million years.

The crust rifted open on the west side of India, and massive amounts of molten rock poured onto the landmass, blanketing much of west central India, known as the Deccan Traps. Over a period of several million years about 100 individual basalt flows produced over 350,000 cubic miles of lava, up to 8,000 feet thick. The rifting poured out great flood basalts across eastern Greenland, northwestern Britain, northern Ireland, and the Faeroe Islands between Britain and Iceland. The decreasing global temperatures and increasing seasonal variation in the weather made the world more stormy, with powerful gusty winds that wreaked havoc over the Earth.

The demise of the giant ice sheets and the subsequent warming of the climate left many puzzles such as an unusual occurrence of hippopotamus 22 the earth’s history Figure 17 A perched erratic boulder left by the ice of the El Portal glaciation, near the head of Little Cottonwood Creek, east of Army Pass, Inyo County, California. (Photo by F. E. Mathes, courtesy USGS) bones in the deserts of Africa. During a wet period between 12,000 and 6,000 years ago, some of today’s African deserts were covered with large lakes.

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