Echinoderm microfossil dating

Microfossils are perhaps the most important group of all fossils — they are extremely useful in age-dating, correlation and paleoenvironmental reconstruction, all important in the oil, mining, engineering, and environmental industries, as well as in general geology.

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Echinoderm microfossil dating

The pyramids of Egypt are made of sedimentary rocks, for example, that consist of the shells of foraminifera, a major microfossil group.

Microfossils can also be very useful in teaching science at all levels.

Students are commonly fascinated by things they cannot see with their naked eyes, especially when the objects are beautiful or interesting in their own right.

Furthermore, collection of microfossils is usually possible close to many schools — in fact, some schools are built right on top of microfossil-bearing sedimentary rocks!

Processing the rock samples is usually easy and safe enough for children to do themselves, or at least to watch.

Prepared samples can be purchased or obtained from museums and some universities.Because so many microfossils are usually found in any sample, the students can even keep their own finds!MICROFOSSILS ARE the tiny remains of bacteria, protists, fungi, animals, and plants.Microfossils are a heterogeneous bunch of fossil remains studied as a single discipline because rock samples must be processed in certain ways to remove them and microscopes must be used to study them.Thus, microfossils, unlike other kinds of fossils, are not grouped according to their relationships to one another, but only because of their generally small size and methods of study.For example, fossils of bacteria, foraminifera, diatoms, very small invertebrate shells or skeletons, pollen, and tiny bones and teeth of large vertebrates, among others, can be called microfossils. Nevertheless, this utilitarian subdivision of paleontology, first recognized in 1883, is very significant in geology, paleontology, and biology.

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