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Lines of Evidence
for Past Change

Stories from the fossil Record

1. Stories from Fossil Assemblages

Introduction: What is a Fossil?

A fossil is any remains or trace of past life.

Usually, scientists consider anything >10,000 years old to be a fossil.

Fossil Assemblages:

Last time we observed fossil assemblages. We were able to tell several stories by examining the fossil assemblage. We could:

  • Identify some of the fossils.

  • Recognize a high level of diversity - richness in numbers of species. From that, we inferred that the assemblage was from a very productive area.

  • Infer about past climates.

  • Suggest the depositional environment based upon the quality of preservation.

  • Propose the level of water energy involved in the deposition - e.g. The deposition occured in an area of low energy because many of the fossils were well preserved and very fragile.

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