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Fossil Record Table

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In the following list, give a brief summary of what scientists have learned from the fossil record. Add one more type of evidence with a summary to the table.

1. Climate change
2. Continental drift
3. Extinct species - dinosaurs, early mammals, etc.
4. Evolution
5. Meteor Strikes
6. Mass Extinctions
7. Wandering Poles
8. Migration

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Solution Summary

Fossil record tables are examined. A summary of climate change, continental drift, extinct species, evolution and meteor strikes is provided.

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1. Climate Change
Fossil ecosystems are compared to modern ecosystems in order to determine past climate. It is assumed that the climate "comfort zone" of plants and animals being studies has not changed from the past (Fortelius et al., 2002). Paleontologists can infer from the types of fossils present and after dating, whether the location they were found in was warm, cool, humid, or dry in the past. Many types of fossils can be used to infer climate change, such as foraminifera, localized mammal species, fossilized plants, and fossil soils (Fortelius et al., 2002).

2. Continental drift
Continental drift is the theory that earth's crust slowly moves over top its liquid core and thus, the continents locations have changed over time. Eduard Suess realized that the fossil plant Glossopteris, found throughout India, South America, Antartica, Australia, and southern Africa provided evidence that Gondwanland once existed and that continental drift was true (Schlinger, 1974).
Other fossils, such as the mesosauras, a early marine ...

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