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23 Cards in this Set

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chronological sequence


paleontology - the study of fossils

taphonomy - the study of decomposition

chronological sequence - placing fossils in time

eras - division in geologic time divided into periods and epochs

What occurred in the paleozoic? Mesozoic? Cenozoic?

Paleozoic -

Mesozoic -

Cenozoic -

Dating Methods - define each






Explain the Molecular Clock

The English surveyor who developed the technique of stratigraphiccorrelation between regions was:

William Smith

The three eras that make up earth history are:

Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic.

What is the earth's age?

4.6 Million

Igneous rock can be dated with which of the following methods?

Radiopotassium Dating

If fossil species A is consistently recovered from geologicaldeposits beneath layers containing fossil species B, then A is considered olderthan B. This relative dating technique is based on the principle of:

The Law of Superposition

A layer of stratigraphy inone location overwhelmingly represents one species, while the same species isdiscovered in a similar stratigraphic layer fifty miles away. What method isused to provide an estimate of age for this layer and this species?


Which period saw theproliferation of mammals?


A hearth is discovered withbone fragments in it. What method might be used to date the bone?

Amino Acid Method

Fluorine dating is an example of what type of dating method?

Chemical/ relative

For dating hominin fossilsthat go back 4 million years, what dating methods might be used?

Electron Spin Resonance AND Amino Acid Method

The molecular clock hasbeen useful to determine the phylogenetic relationships of species based on theassumption that:

a species accumulates genetic differences over time at a constant rate

Coinciding with the appearance of early hominins about 5–10 mya,the climate was:

dry and seasonal

During crucial periods of human evolution, the Pleistocene wascharacterized by:

massive galaciation, then warm interglacials

Studies of temperatures during the Cenozoic era suggest that:

temperatures have fluctuated, sometimes greatly, over time

At a site in the American Southwest, you find only a singleceramic pot in association with an individual within a burial. You can use thepot to date the burial based on:

cultural dating, since the pot must be specific to a known culture and time period. h

What are ideal conditions for fossilization? And what sorts of environments are NOT anideal environment for fossilization?

Ideal conditions for fozzilization are circumstances in which the remains are buried very soon after death in a anoxic environment that has a limited amount of bacterial activity, decomposition, and is inaccessible to scavengers. Non-ideal conditions include exposure to weather, scavengers, bacteria, and oxygen.

Why are most fossilsimportant to hominid origins found in Eastern and Southern Africa?

The most important fossils to hominid origins are found in Eastern and Southern Africa because that is the location of strata of the correct age.

How do dating methods helpto support the theory of natural selection and biological evolution?

Dating methods help support the theory of natural selection and biological evolution by providing the time depth that is required by both theories.

Differentiate between absolute and relative dating techniques,giving one example of each.

Absolute dating provides an actual date or date range, both of which would be numerical. An example would be Thermoluminesence

Relative dating provides only a geologic time order of events. An example would be Stratigraphic Correlation