what is the need to know about fossils?

Asked by  | 5th Oct, 2008, 01:03: PM

Expert Answer:

Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.

Fossils are an important piece of proving the theory of evolution because they present the physical proof of its' existence. We know that life has evolved by looking at fossils. The fossil record was one of the early sources of data relevant to the study of evolution and continues to be relevant to the history of life on Earth. Paleontologists examine the fossil record in order to understand the process of evolution and the way particular species have evolved.

The fossil record and faunal succession form the basis of determining the age of rocks based on the fossils they contain. The geologic time scale was developed based on the relative ages of rock strata as determined by the early paleontologists and stratigraphers. Also, the study of fossils can more specifically pinpoint when and in what organism branching occurred in the tree of life.

Fossils are our only clues to life in the past. They help us learn about evolution - how living things have changed through time. Fossils are like a photograph of an animal at a particular point in the history of the Earth.

Fossils also help us understand what kinds of environments existed millions of year ago. 

Some ancient animals, such as trilobites, have no close living relatives. Others have very close relatives living today. By studying living animals and how they live, scientists can better understand how animals lived in the past.

Answered by  | 5th Oct, 2008, 01:36: PM

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