Fossils - beyond fossils - DISCOVERING FOSSILS | Folkestone (Kent)

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Left: A birthday party with a twist - fossil hunting at Peacehaven. Right: A family hold their prized ammonite at Beachy Head.

Imagine finding something from millions of years ago. How cool would that be? Well, you can! Fossils are made from animals and plants that died a long time ago ...

The Tree of Life illustrates how different species arise from previous species via descent with modification, and that all of life is connected. The diagram below shows the relationship between the major biological groups. The centre represents the last universal ancestor of all life on earth, the outer branches the major biological groups.

To get students thinking about the quality of information that comes from the fossil record, go to Fossilization and Adaptation: Activities in Paleontology and do Activity 1: Fossilization , from Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology. Print out the directions for yourself. You may want to get an overhead projector to show the picture of the horse to the class as you discuss what is known about horses. Each student will need a copy of the picture of the Stegosaurus (pictures of the horse and the Stegosaurus are online as part of the activity).

Here is a summary of the lesson:

Fossils - Beyond FossilsFossils - Beyond FossilsFossils - Beyond FossilsFossils - Beyond Fossils