By Jon Erickson

The learn of fossils, minerals, and gemstones has performed the most important roles in expanding our wisdom concerning the Earth, the alterations the planet has undergone, and the species that experience inhabited it. This quantity introduces the interesting disciplines of geology, paleontology, and mineralogy, and the way they demonstrate secrets and techniques of the Earth's historical past. assurance comprises: a scientific therapy of Earth heritage, rock kinds, marine fossils, terrestrial fossils, crystals, gem stones, and priceless metals that supply insights into Earth's personality; the most up-tp-date information on hand on such themes as international tectonics and faunal extinctions, together with a wealth of knowledge concerning the death of dinosaurs; new applied sciences in detecting and keeping rocks and minerals; and the results of abrasion and weather alterations.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Fossils and Minerals: Seeking Clues to the Earth's Past (Living Earth)

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Evidence that life began very early in the Earth’s history when the planet was still quite hot exists today in the form of thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria, found in thermal springs and other hot-water environments (Fig. 18). Because these bacteria lack a nucleus, which ceases to function in hot water, they can live and reproduce successfully even at temperatures well above the normal boiling point of water as long as it remains a liquid, which requires pressures equal to those in the deep sea.

The second is the Neogene period, from about 26 million years ago to the present, which includes the Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene epochs. ” The Cenozoic was a time of constant change, as all species had to adapt to a wide range of living conditions. Changing climate patterns resulted from the movement of continents toward their present positions, and intense tectonic activity built a large variety of landforms and raised most mountain ranges of the world. Except for a few land bridges exposed from time to time, plants and animals were prevented from migrating from one continent to another.

15). The tall volcanoes of the Cascade Range from northern California to Canada erupted in one great profusion after another. Extensive volcanism Figure 13 The lithospheric plates that constitute the Earth’s crust. Note the position of Nazca and the South American plates. (Courtesy USGS) 19 INTRODUCTION TO FOSSILS AND MINERALS Figure 14 The San Andreas Fault in southern California. (Photo by R. Wallace, courtesy USGS) Figure 15 Palouse Falls in Columbia River basalt, FranklinWhitman Counties, Washington.

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