linnette

Friday, May 05, 2006

DISCUSS THE PROCESS OF FOSSILIZATION AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE IN THE INTERPRETATION OF EVOLUTIONARY EVENTS.

Fossilization is the process of change of matters into fossils. Fossils are the remains of animals, plants and organisms. They are many types of fossils which occur as result of different types of fossilization process. Fossil come in many different ways. They are different types of fossils and fossilization process fossils Each type of fossil is occurs as a results of different fossilization process and each tells scientist something about material conserve. Fossils consist of traces of remains of organism and mark left behind the organism while it was alive. E.g. footprint, trackways, bites marks and dwelling burrows. Fossilization is rare occurrence because most of the components of living things tend to decompose. Organism to be fossilized, the remains needs to be covered by sediments.

The term fossilization does not only refer to the remains of organism but also to the impressions in rock and traits form by organism when they are alive. Fossils are formed when living organism dies and the part of the body are kept safe. Burial prevents the destruction of organism by scavenger, bacteria or weathering and erosion. It is also important because oxygen is no longer available to bacteria that cause the decay. Fossilization favours the following organism: big organism with hard body parts, organisms that were widespread and organism that lived for a long time. It favours these because it is impossible to find the following: small fossils, soft bodied organism living in small areas that did not live for a long time, either because they become extinct or because they evolved quickly. Geological process such as erosion destroys many fossils.

Fossilization process start when living thing dies, flow down a river and lodges on a sandbar. The bone may get covered by mud or sand but the tissue and skin decomposed. In drier areas, animals may fall into a crack and be quickly covered by wind blown sand. Once burial has occurred the remaining process of fossilization can continue. During the period of some hundreds millions years sediments built up over the buried remains and the pressure drives water out and converts the sediments to rock.
During the life time of rock, water sort through it dissolves some minerals and deposit them at the other sites, and deposits different minerals at the original site of the fossil thus cause the fossil remains themselves become converted into different types of rock
The process of carbonization occurred in the process of fossilization, plant leaves, and some body parts of fish, and reptiles decompose going behind only the carbon. This carbon creates the idea in the rock giving the great details of fossil. Plants are commonly fossilised through carbonisation

Fossils are the main sources of information on the evolution. Without the information provide by fossil, we can not have no direct knowledge of timing of biological events such as the following: origin of life, the development of skeletons, the colonisation of the land, the appearance of mammals and the flowering plants, the development of flight and the major episode of extinction.

Fossils are the main source of information because it gives the history development and the evolutionary relationships of Morden flora and fauna. It also gives the knowledge and characteristics of extinct organism such as dinosaurs.

Linette Netshiheni
CSIR
Pretoria0001
Cell: 0820446442
Tell: 012 841 2133
Fax: 012 842 3676
tnetshiheni@csir.co.za
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