Q:

Why are fossils important?

A:

Fossils are important in understanding the history of the world because they provide physical evidence of animals and plants that lived in the past. Through their discovery, paleontologists uncover new ideas about former life on earth.

Fossils are the remains, impressions or traces of organisms that existed millions of years ago. Body fossils are the actual remnants of organisms that have been naturally preserved, such as bones, teeth, scales, shells and skeletons. Usually, fossils are preserved in sedimentary rock and bodies of water.

Paleontologists also find trace fossils, which are indirect signs of an organism's existence. An example of a trace fossil is a footprint or mark in the sediment, suggesting the movement pattern of organisms.

Through fossils, paleontologists have uncovered information about the anatomy and behavior of organisms, evolution of life and habitat development. The earliest fossils are believed to be of marine mammals from the Precambrian era.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why is it important to study history?

    A:

    Studying history is important to provide people with a sense of the past. This allows people to understand how cultural, social and societal values developed differently.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are polystrate fossils?

    A:

    Polystrate fossils are single organism fossils that are encased in multiple layers of rock, such as a tree trunk. "Poly" means more than one, and "strata" means rock. These fossil types are caused by rapidly-moving, sediment-laden fluids that create an abundance of layers, such as volcanic eruptions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are trilobites considered index fossils?

    A:

    Trilobites are considered index fossils because they are used to date geological strata via their presence. They specifically are used to date Paleozoic rock. Index fossils must be widespread, abundant, distinct and limited to a particular time period to be useful; trilobite fossils satisfy these requirements.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do people live in the rainforest?

    A:

    About 50 million tribal people live in rainforests in different parts of the world. Indigenous people have lived there for thousands of years and have organized their daily lives as their ancestors had done. Their food, medicine, shelter and clothing all come from the forests, and they have a distinctive language and a different set of tradition and culture, according to AdventureLife.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore