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34 Cards in this Set

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Relative Dating
Comparative method of dating the older of two or more fossils or sites rather than a specific date.
Chronomaetric Dating
The method of estimating the specific date of fossils or sites.
B.P.
Before Present (1950), The internationally accepted form of designating past dates.
Stratigraphy
A relative dating method based on the fact that older remains are found deeper in the earths surface over time.
Biostratigraphy
A relative dating method in which sites can be assigned an approximate age based on the similarity of animal remains with those from other dated sites.
Paleomagnetic Reversal
A method of dating sites based on the fact that the earth's magnetic feild has shifted back and forth from the north to the south in the past at irregular intervals.
Half-life
The average length of time it takes for half of a radioactive substance decay into another form.
Carbon-14 Dating
A chronometric dating method based on the half-life of carbon-14 that can be applied to organic remains, such as charcoal, dating back over the last 50,000 years.
Potassium-argon Dating
A chronometric dating method based on the half-life of radioactive potassium that can be used to date volcanic rock older than 100,000 years.
Argon-argon Dating
A chronometric dating method based on the half-life of radioactive argon that can be used with very small samples.
Dendrochronology
A chronometric dating method based on the fact that tree's in dry climates tend to accumulate one growth ring per year.
Fission-track Dating
A chronometric dating method based on the number of tracks made across volcanic rock as uranium decays into lead.
Thermoluminescence
A chronometric dating method that uses the fact that certain heated objects acumulate trapped electrons over time, which allows the date when the object was initially heated to be determined.
Electron Spin Resonance
A chronometric dating method that estimates dates from observationof radioactive atoms trapped in the calcite crystals present in a number of materials, such as bones and shells.
Taphonomy
(H)
The study of what happens to plants and animals after they die.
(H)
Taphonomy helps in determining reasons for the distribution and condition of fossils.
Paleoecology
The study of ancient environments.
Palynology
The study of fossil pollen.
Epoch
Subdivision of a geological period.
Insectivore
An order of mammals adapted to insect eating.
Continental Drift
(H)
The movement of continental land masses on top of a partially molten layer of the earth’s mantle.
(H)
Because of continental drift, the relative location of the continents has changed over time.
Paleocene Epoch
The first epoch of the Cenozoic era, dating roughly between 65 million and 54 million years ago. When the primate-like mammals lived.
Postorbital Bar
The bony ring that separates the eye orbit from the back of the skull in primates.
Eocene Epoch
The second epoch of the Cenozoic era, dating roughly between 54 million and 34 million years ago, when the first true primates, early promisians, appeared.
Carpolestes Simpsoni
A species of primate-like mammal that had some derived primate traits such as s grasping foot and an opposable big toe. This species is intermediate, in many respects, between primitive primate like mammals and true primates.
Oligocene Epoch
The third epoch of the Cenozoic era, dating roughly between 34 million and 23 million years ago, when there was an adaptive radiation of anthropoids.
Miocene Epoch
The fourth epoch of the Cenozoic era, dating between 23 million and 5 million years ago, when there was great diversity in hominoids.
Eurasia
The combined land masses of Europe and Asia.
Postcranial
Refering to the part of the skeleton below the skull.
Proconsul
A genus of fossil hominoid that lived in Africa between 23 million years and 17 million years ago and that shows a number of monkey characteristics.
Diastema
A gap next to the canine tooth that allows space for the canine on the opposing jaw.
Morotopithicus
A genus of fossil ape that lived in Africa 20 million years ago ans whose postcranial anatomy was similar in a number of ways to living apes.
Sivapithecus
A genus of fossil ape that lived in Asia between 14 million and 7 million years ago, possibly an ancestor to modern orangutans.
Dryopithecus
A genus of fossil ape that lived in Europe during the Middle and Late Miocene. This form, and the related form Ouranopithicus, have cranial traits that suggest one may have been an ancestor of African apes and humans.
Molecular dating
The application of methods of genetic analysis to estimate the sequence and timing of divergent evolutionary lines.