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Old 02-05-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Fetid Fish Revise Understanding of Fossil Formation

Fetid Fish Revise Understanding of Fossil Formation
Posted on: February 1, 2010 1:19 PM, by "GrrlScientist"

Fetid Fish Revise Understanding of Fossil Formation : Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)
excerpt from above:
How do you know what something looks like when you've never seen it before? This is the question that paleontologists deal with every day: describing the appearance of ancient animals based on incomplete information gathered from small fossilized fragments of those animals. As if that is not difficult enough, they also use this incomplete information about physical appearances to build family trees that describe the evolution of these animals.

A team of paleontologists from the University of Leicester devised a new method for extracting information from 500 million year old fossils: they studied the rate and sequence of decomposition for individual physical features to better understand how our ancient fish-like ancestors might have originally looked. The team's findings indicate that some of the earliest vertebrate fossils may have been more evolutionarily advanced than previously thought.

"It seems contradictory, but decomposition is an important part of the process by which animals become preserved and fossilized," explained paleontologist Robert Sansom from the University of Leicester in the UK...
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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decomposition, fetid, fish, formation, fossil, fossil formation, fossilized, paleontologists, revise, understanding

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