What science is studying the fossil remains of extinct organisms? Detailed analysis
In this article, we will examine which science studies fossil remnants of extinct organisms, what is the practical meaning of this and why their remains are generally preserved to the present day.
According to some estimates of scientists, life on ourthe planet has existed for about 3 billion years, and it has been replaced by a variety of biological species, ranging from bacteria to algae in the ancient oceans. And the water bodies, by the way, gave us life. Naturally, such changes have undergone and flora.
Back in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, someresearchers, finding the petrified remains of plants and other organisms, guessed that the world is much older than commonly believed. True, they did not even suspect the true age of the finds, considering them to be the usual quirks of nature. Simply put, they did not realize that fossils are many millions of years old. And there was no way for them to study them in detail, except for an external examination.
In our time, such finds are very valuable forscience, researchers on the basis of them learn a lot of new about past epochs and periods. What science studies fossil remnants of extinct organisms, how do they survive millions of years after all? In this we will try to understand. This subject is very extensive and interesting, but we will dwell on the most important.
Science, studying the remains of extinct organisms,is called paleontology. And scientists, respectively, paleontologists. But what's the point of analyzing fossil pieces? What in general can be determined from them?
The fact is that science as such does not pursueinstant and momentary benefits, its goal is a comprehensive study and knowledge, on the basis of which discoveries are subsequently made that are in practical use. For example, the theory of relativity, or rather its aspect of slowing down of time by gravity, was useful only during the launch of artificial satellites of the Earth. So now we know what science is studying the fossil remains of extinct organisms - it's paleontology.
Similar studies help to understand howthe animal and plant world has changed and changed for millions of years, and the Darwin's theory of evolution has been supplemented by new supporting facts, which once and for all helped to understand where the new biological forms come from and reject the biblical assumption of divine intervention.
Also, examining the topic, which science is studyingfossil remains of extinct organisms, it is worth remembering that such studies are very important, including in order to prevent possible extinction of living species and to understand the further and possible path of evolution.
But what can you learn by studying fossils? In fact, for a long time scientists were heavily constrained in the means, but then there were various methods of radiocarbon analysis that could provide answers to many questions. For example, the age of the finds, the composition of the food, which the animals fed, and even the climate of their time! But how are they preserved?
It's all about the process of petrification. It occurs at the confluence of certain conditions, such as small access to oxygen, concealment from weather conditions, etc. Gradually, the biological material is, as it were, "impregnated" with mineral compounds and eventually turns into a kind of stone.
But, as a rule, a scientist studying fossilsremnants of extinct organisms, rarely can find a full and intact skeleton of a dinosaur or someone else, this happens very rarely, so you have to be content with what's there. Nevertheless, even small remnants of material can shed light on ancient times and times.
Also one can not but mention paleoanthropology. This discipline, which is part of paleontology, as the name suggests, deals with the research of our ancestors and, in general, all the once ancestral humanoid primates.
Now we know that fossil remains of extinct organisms are studied by science paleontology.