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ZingPath: The Fossil Record and Evolution

Fossils as Evidence of Evolution

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The Fossil Record and Evolution

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Lesson Focus

Fossils as Evidence of Evolution

Earth & Space Science

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You get to uncover the many facets of Darwin’s theory of evolution, from the different types of natural selection and various adaptations, to analysis of fossil evidence and the effects of mate selection. Learn about genetic drift and gene flow in populations, as well as the theory of endosymbiosis.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain the role of fossils as evidence of evolution.

Everything You'll Have Covered

How are the bodies of dead organisms preserved?

~ The bodies of dead organisms are preserved when they become trapped between layers of sand and silt that form rocks.

How do fossils help scientists today?

~ Fossils help scientists understand life forms that are now extinct, and how the life forms that exist today arose.

What is the oldest known fossilized organism? When did it live?

~ The oldest known fossil is from a prokaryotic organism dating back some 3.5 billion years ago.

How does the fossil record support the theory of evolution?

~ The fossil record contains evidence of transitional forms of organisms, which show how new organisms evolved from older organisms. However, some fossils show great similarity with organisms living today?for instance, some insects, cyanobacteria, and lungfish. This is known as evolutionary stasis and is defined by a period of little or no change in a species. Stasis is also explainable, and predicted through the mechanisms of evolution.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define the following terms: eukaryote, evolution, and fossils.
Course Earth & Space Science
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary eukaryote, evolution, fossils