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View Resource Fossils

Paleontologists seldom have the good fortune to find a complete set of remains of an ancient organism that is wholly intact. For instance, the discovery of a frozen woolly mammoth carcass, preserved hair and all, was a truly rare event. More common are discoveries of incomplete remains, such as bones, teeth, or hair, and trace fossils, such as footprints or leaf impressions, which indicate an...

View Resource Alfred Russel Wallace Collection

One name looms large for the general public when the word "evolution" is mentioned: Charles Darwin. Of course, others are quite aware that Alfred Russel Wallace co-discovered the theory of evolution with Darwin, a fact that the prescient individuals at the Natural History Museum in Britain are well aware of. In 2002, the Museum was able to purchase a rather large collection of Wallace's personal...

View Resource The Life System and Environmental and Evolutionary Biology II

The "Life System" is a component of the course series (TESY) developed by Columbia University and Barnard College, providing an integrated view of the biological component of the Earth system. It emphasizes the history of life, biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and physiology at the microbe to global scale. It also stresses the biotic systems, in contrast to the physical...

View Resource Bacteria: Fossil Record

This description of the fossil record of bacteria focuses on one particular group of bacteria, the cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, which have left a fossil record that extends far back into the Precambrian. The oldest cyanobacteria-like fossils known are nearly 3.5 billion years old and are among the oldest fossils currently known. Cyanobacteria are larger than most bacteria and may secrete a...

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