Paleontology Class 3 – Rocks and Fossils
Here are the prep materials for the 3rd class in the Paleontology Block of classes. There are PDF’s attached (click on the links) handouts to help you prepare for our upcoming Rocks and Fossils lab. PLEASE COMPLETE THESE BEFORE YOU COME TO CLASS AND BRING THEM WITH YOU.
1. The first pdf (1 Rocks and Minerals) is full of information on rocks and minerals, including how they form and how to identify them. We will be doing some rock and mineral identification in class, so I encourage you to look over this information and to print out the handout to bring with you to class. Be prepared to:
- identify minerals based on physical properties (such as color, luster, hardness…)
- identify sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks and explain how each forms
- describe how rocks and minerals are important in paleontology
- read a geologic map and identify good locations to search for fossils
2. The second pdf (2 Fossilization) is a brief overview of how fossils form and types of fossils. Be prepared to:
- identify body and trace fossils
- know the difference between a cast and a mold
- understand and explain different ways that fossils form (permineralization, replacement..)
3. The third pdf (3 EarlyLife) is a brief review of early life on Earth and is review from our last class. In next week’s class we will be moving into the Cambrian and later periods.
Most of the fossils we’ll be looking at are invertebrates. For class, I’d like you to be somewhat familiar with different groups of invertebrates. You can learn about different groups of invertebrates here:
5. Fossil Preparation
Learn about some of the techniques that paleontologists use to analyze and preserve fossils.
Mohs Hardness Scale
Clastic Sedimentary Rock
Chemical Sedimentary Rock
Websites: REVIEW – If you haven’t yet visited these sites or if you want to refresh your memories, check them out again.
For Younger Students- Kids Geo has a comprehensive, picture based, light reading website on all aspects of rocks, minerals, and geologic processes
This is a website for browsing- it has lots of great pictures of rocks and minerals that you can click on to learn more about.
An interactive site with quizzes
An animated explanation of the Rock Cycle
2. Plate Tectonics
This dynamic earth- a comprehensive overview of the theory of plate tectonics
3. Fossil Record and Geologic Time
Be sure to check out the following sections:
- Getting into the fossil record
- Understanding geologic time
- the geologic time scale at the Smithsonian- explore each period in detail
- geologic time scale at University of California Berkeley