Fossils and the Scientific Process

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dinosaurs Fossils and the Scientific Process

What can fossils tell us?

Fossils are one of the most important sources of information about the Earth's past. They can tell us the age of the rocks in which they are found, what the environment was like when the fossilised organisms were alive, and even how the organisms functioned. They can also tell us about Earth movements, such as mountain building, about the former positions of continents (ancient geography), and about the evolution of life on Earth.

How are fossils recovered from rocks?

This segment explains how fossils are found within rocks, and the various ways in which they are recovered and prepared for scientific study.

Reconstructing dinosaurs fossils.

This segment shows how the fragmentary remains of fossils (particularly vertebrate fossils) are used to reconstruct the skeleton and body of the entire organism, so as to determine its appearance and way of life. Such reconstructions commonly undergo dramatic modification through the years, as ideas on how ancient organisms lived change.


This segment deals with what fossils are, the various ways in which they are preserved in rocks, the distinction between body fossils and trace fossils, and what pseudo fossils are.

Early views on the nature of fossils.

This segment is an account of past and alternative views on the origin and nature of fossils, such as the notion that they were the result of so-called 'plastic forces' or 'formative virtues' acting within the earth, or the belief that they are the remains of organisms that perished in the Biblical Flood.

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