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Fossils and Earth’s History LT 1-3 Review
LT - 1 I can apply geologic principles to rock strata diagrams to determine the relative ages of
rocks and fossils.
Geologic Principles Matching
____1. Oldest rocks are on the bottom and youngest rocks are on the top in undisturbed
sedimentary rock.
____2. Sedimentary rocks are deposited in relatively flat layers. If any folding or faulting is
present it happened AFTER the rocks were deposited.
____3. Sedimentary rocks or igneous rocks from lava tend to be deposited in flat continuous
sheets. If any erosion (streambeds or canyons) are present, they had to have happened after the
rocks were formed.
____4. Any feature that cuts across other rock layers is younger than the layers it cuts.
____ 5. Any intrusion that melts or “bakes” surrounding rock is younger than the rock it
____ 6. In some rock formations, layers or parts of layers may be missing. This is often due to
erosion. Erosion by water or wind removes sediment for exposed surfaces. Erosion often leaves
a new flat surface with some of the original material missing.
____7. Any part of a previous rock layer, like a piece of stone, is older than the layer containing
____8. Fossil plants and animals follow or succeed each other in time in a predictable manner.
A. Superposition
B. Baked Contents
D. Original Continuity
G. Faunal Succession
E. Inclusions
C. Original Horizontality
F. Cross-cutting
H. Unconformity
Which rock layer is youngest in the diagram? Based on which principle?
10. Which is the oldest layer, P, C, N, or I? What is your evidence?
11. Layers P, E, F, and D are all folded. Name and explain the principle that you would use to
determine that layers P, E, F and D were deposited before the layers were folded?
12. Which geologic principle would you use to determine that layer J is younger than layer M?
13. Name and explain the geologic principle that would explain that the canyon (D) is younger than
layers A, B, and C..
14. Order the layers and events from oldest to youngest.
LT - 2 I can describe and explain conditions necessary for organisms to become fossils.
15. Describe and explain the condition/characteristics that are usually necessary for fossils to
16. Describe two environments that would be good for fossilization. Explain why they are
17. Describe two environments that would not be good for fossilization. Explain why they
are NOT good.
18. Which organism is most likely to fossilize, a bee or a snail? Explain.
19. What physical (abiotic) factors must organisms be protected from in order for organisms
to fossilize?
20. What biotic factors must an organism be protected from in order to have a better chance
to become a fossil?
21. Of all the organisms living on Earth today, what percentage will likely become fossils?
a. More than 90%
b. More than 75%
c. Less than 50%
d. Less than 10%
LT - 3 I can determine the relative ages of rocks and fossils by using correlation and index
fossils found in the rock layers.
22. What are the three characteristics that a group of fossils must have in order
to be used as an index fossil?
23. What are index fossils used for?
24. The blocks below represent rock layers. The letters represent fossils. If the
rock layer containing fossils LUZ is the oldest, Sketch the rock layers in order
(oldest on bottom and youngest on top) using similar fossils.
25. Identify the index fossil(s) in the rock layers from question 23.
26. Locate the ammonite in the diagram above (layer 3). It lived 200-170 mya.
About how old would you estimate layer 4 to be? Why
27. Estimate the ages of the other fossils in layer 3. Explain your thinking.
28. Which fossils could be used as index fossils: A, B, C, D? Explain.
29. In the diagram above, which outcrop is the oldest? What is your evidence?
30. In the diagram above, which outcrop is youngest? What is your evidence?
31. Order the fossils from oldest to youngest.