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Encyclopedia > Trace fossil
A fossilized dinosaur footprint at Clayton Lake State Park, New Mexico.
Protichnites tracks from the late Cambrian, central Wisconsin.
Protichnites tracks from the late Cambrian, central Wisconsin.
Climactichnites, probably trackways from a slug-like animal, from the late Cambrian, central Wisconsin. Ruler in background is 18" long.
Climactichnites, probably trackways from a slug-like animal, from the late Cambrian, central Wisconsin. Ruler in background is 18" long.

Trace fossils, also called ichnofossils (IPA: [ˈɪknəʊˌfɒsəl], Greek: ιχνος or ikhnos meaning "trace" or "track"), are structures preserved in sedimentary rocks that record biological activity. While we are most familiar with relatively spectacular, fossilized hard-part remains such as shells and bones (known as body fossils), trace fossils are often less dramatic, but nonetheless very important. Strictly defined, trace fossils must reflect both the anatomy of their maker in some way, and be the result of behaviour. Sedimentary structures made by empty shells rolling along the sea floor are thus excluded (as "death marks"), as are structures such as stromatolites that, although the result of behaviour, do not reflect the anatomy of their maker. Spun coccoons and spiders webs are considered to be trace fossils, as they are manipulated by their makers after secretion; egg cases, on the other hand, are not. Trace fossils include burrows (such as Chondrites), borings, ichnites (footprints and track marks), Zoophycus feeding marks, trails (such as Cruziana scratched by trilobites), coprolites (fossilized droppings) and other gut-derived objects, and rhizoliths or rhizocretions (the fossil remains of roots). Image File history File links ClaytonLakeStateParkDinosaurFootprint. ... Image File history File links ClaytonLakeStateParkDinosaurFootprint. ... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 279 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Protichnites tracks, late Cambrian, central Wisconsin, Joshua Gass collection I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 279 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Protichnites tracks, late Cambrian, central Wisconsin, Joshua Gass collection I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... A trace fossil consisting of the imprints made by the walking activity of an unknown arthropod. ... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... Official language(s) None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Area  Ranked 23rd  - Total 65,498 sq mi (169,790 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 310 miles (500 km)  - % water 17  - Latitude 42°30N to 47°3N  - Longitude 86°49W to 92°54W Population  Ranked... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 597 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Trackways from Climactichnites (probably a slug-like animal), late Cambrian, central Wisconsin I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 597 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Trackways from Climactichnites (probably a slug-like animal), late Cambrian, central Wisconsin I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Climactichnites is a genus of trace fossil formed on sandy tidal flats in portions of Canada and northern United States around 510 Ma during late Cambrian time. ... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... Official language(s) None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Area  Ranked 23rd  - Total 65,498 sq mi (169,790 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 310 miles (500 km)  - % water 17  - Latitude 42°30N to 47°3N  - Longitude 86°49W to 92°54W Population  Ranked... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... A fossil Ammonite Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally having been dug up) are the mineralized or otherwise preserved remains or traces (such as footprints) of animals, plants, and other organisms. ... FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL is an acronym for Fido Opus Seadog Standard Interface Layer. ... FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL is an acronym for Fido Opus Seadog Standard Interface Layer. ... A burrow is a hole or tunnel dug into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct of locomotion. ... A fossilized dinosaur footprint from a fossil trackway at Clayton Lake State Park, New Mexico. ... Zoophycus traces found in Kingston, NY (December 2006) Zoophycus is a type of trace fossil, thought to be left by worms feeding in marine muds and sands. ... Orders Agnostida Nectaspida Redlichiida Corynexochida Lichida Phacopida Subclass: Librostoma Proetida Asaphida Harpetida Ptychopariida For the robot vacuum cleaner, see Electrolux Trilobite. ... Coprolites are fossilized feces, or animal dung. ... Bromalites are the fossilised remains of material sourced from the digestive system of organisms. ...


The study of trace remains is called ichnology, which is divided into paleoichnology, or the study of trace fossils, and neoichnology, the study of modern trace remains. Ichnology is the branch of paleontology dealing with the study of fossilized footprints, tracks and burrows. ...


The science of ichnology is quite challenging, as most trace remains cannot be positively assigned to a specific organism or even to a specific class of organisms. Furthermore, trace remains such as burrows can make the work for paleontologists and paleobiologists more difficult as they rework sediments, causing older strata to be mixed with younger ones. This can cause some confusion in interpretation, unless viewed in geologic context. Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, ancient; ontos, being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. ... Paleobiology (sometimes spelled palaeobiology) is a growing and comparatively new discipline which combines the methods and findings of the natural science biology with the methods and findings of the earth science paleontology. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... For other uses, see strata (novel) and strata title. ... Geology (from Greek γη- (ge-, the earth) and λογος (logos, word, reason)) is the science and study of the Earth, its composition, structure, physical properties, history, and the processes that shape it. ...


Adolf Seilacher divided trace fossils into five main behavioral groups: Adolf Dolf Seilacher (b. ...

  • Domichnia are dwelling structures that reflect the life position of the organism that created it;
  • Fodinichnia are three-dimensional structures left by animals which eat their way through sediment, such as deposit feeders;
  • Pascichnia are another type of feeding trace, left by grazers on the surface of a soft sediment or a mineral substrate;
  • Cubichnia are resting traces, in the form of an impression left by an organism on a soft sediment;
  • Repichnia are surface traces of creeping and crawling, as an organism moved from one station to another.

Contents

Confusion with other types of fossils

Trace fossils should not be confused with body casts. The Ediacaran biota, for instance, primarily consists of the casts of organisms in sediment. The Ediacaran Period (from the Ediacara Hills of South Australia) is the last geological period of the Neoproterozoic Era, just before the Cambrian. ...


Early geologists gave the name 'fucoid' to a wide variety of markings they found on the bedding planes of sedimentary rocks. The earth scientists frequently misinterpreted these 'fucoid' marks as being the fossilized remains of seaweed. However, in more recent years, these markings have been studied with greater thoroughness. It is now apparent that the 'fucoids' and other markings have in fact been caused by a variety of plants and animals. As a result, these 'fucoid' markings are now termed trace fossils. Two types of sedimentary rock: limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... Ascophyllum nodosum exposed to the sun in Nova Scotia, Canada Dead Mans Fingers (Codium fragile) off Massachusetts coast For the Marine Biology Summer internship Marine Algae by Friday Harbor Laboratories, see; Marine Algae For the band, see; Seaweed (band) For the rock musician, see; Seaweed (musician) Seaweeds are any...


Pseudofossils, which are not true fossils, should also not be confused with ichnofossils, which are true indications of prehistoric life. A pseudofossil is a fake fossil, or a false fossil. ...


Information provided by ichnofossils

Paleoenvironments and Paleoecology

Trace fossils provide us with indirect evidence of life in the past, such as the footprints, tracks, burrows, borings, and feces left behind by animals, rather than the preserved remains of the body of the actual animal itself. Unlike most other fossils, which are produced only after the death of the organism concerned, trace fossils provide us with a record of the activity of an organism during its lifetime. Paleoecology uses data from fossils and subfossils to reconstruct the ecosystems of the past. ... Prehistoric life is a term used to refer to diverse organisms that inhabited Earth from the origin of life about 3. ...


Trace fossils are formed by organisms performing the functions of their everyday life, such as walking, crawling, burrowing, boring, or feeding. Tetrapod footprints, worm trails and the burrows made by clams are all trace fossils. Groups See text. ... A worm is an elongated, slender, soft-bodied invertebrate animal. ... Littleneck clams; the pictured mollusks are of the species Mercenaria mercenaria. ...


Fossil footprints made by tetrapod vertebrates are difficult to identify to a particular species of animal, but they can provide us with valuable information -- such as the speed, weight, and behavior of the organism which made them. Such trace fossils are formed when amphibians, reptiles, mammals or birds walked across soft (probably wet) mud or sand which later hardened sufficiently to retain the impressions before the next layer of sediment was deposited. Classes and Clades See below Male and female Superb Fairy-wren Vertebrates are members of the subphylum Vertebrata (within the phylum Chordata), specifically, those chordates with backbones or spinal columns. ... Subclasses and Orders    Order Temnospondyli - extinct Subclass Lepospondyli - extinct Subclass Lissamphibia    Order Anura    Order Caudata    Order Gymnophiona Amphibians (class Amphibia; from Greek αμφις both and βιος life) are a taxon of animals that include all living tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates) that do not have amniotic eggs, are ectothermic (term for the animals... Subclasses Anapsida Diapsida Synonyms Reptilia Laurenti, 1768 Reptiles are tetrapods and amniotes, animals whose embryos are surrounded by an amniotic membrane, and members of the class Sauropsida. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in female mammary glands and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in... “Aves” redirects here. ...


Perhaps the most spectacular trace fossils are the huge, three-toed footprints produced by dinosaurs and related archosaurs. These ground impressions give scientists clues how these animals lived. Although the skeletons of dinosaurs can be reconstructed, only their fossilized footprints can determine exactly how they stood and walked. Such tracks can tell us a lot about the gait of the animal which made them, what its stride was, and whether or not the front limbs touched the ground. Orders & Suborders Saurischia Sauropodomorpha Theropoda Ornithischia Thyreophora Ornithopoda Marginocephalia Dinosaurs were vertebrate animals that dominated the terrestrial ecosystem for over 160 million years, first appearing approximately 230 million years ago. ... -1... For other uses of the term, see Fossil (disambiguation) Fossils are the mineralized remains of animals or plants or other artifacts such as footprints. ...


However, most trace fossils are rather less conspicuous, such as the trails made by segmented worms or nematodes. Some of these worm castings are the only fossil record we have of these soft-bodied creatures. Within the trace and microfossil record, the most common worm remnants are those produced by scolecodonts, otherwise known as serpulid annelids or polychaetes. Classes and subclasses Class Polychaeta (paraphyletic?) Class Clitellata    Oligochaeta - Earthworms and others    Acanthobdellida    Branchiobdellida    Hirudinea - Leeches Class Myzostomida Class Archiannelida (polyphyletic) Class Echiura *Some authors consider the subclasses under Clitellata to be classes The annelids, collectively called Annelida, are a large phylum of animals, comprising the segmented worms, with about... Classes Adenophorea    Subclass Enoplia    Subclass Chromadoria Secernentea    Subclass Rhabditia    Subclass Spiruria    Subclass Diplogasteria The nematodes or roundworms (Phylum Nematoda from Greek (nema): thread + -ode like) are one of the most common phyla of animals, with over 20,000 different described species (over 15,000 are parasitic). ... A worm is an elongated, slender, soft-bodied invertebrate animal. ... For other uses of the term, see Fossil (disambiguation) Fossils are the mineralized remains of animals or plants or other artifacts such as footprints. ... Scolecodonts are the jaws of polychaete annelids (worms). ... Classes and subclasses Class Polychaeta (paraphyletic?) Class Clitellata*    Oligochaeta - earthworms, etc. ... Subclasses Palpata Scoleoida Tomopteris from plankton The Polychaeta or polychaetes are a class of annelid worms, generally marine. ...


Use as index fossils

Some trace fossils can be used as local index fossils, to date the rocks in which they are found, such as the burrow Arenicolites franconicus which occurs in a 4 cm (1.6") layer of the Triassic Muschelkalk epoch, throughout wide areas in southern Germany[citation needed]. Index fossils (or zone fossils) are fossils used to define and identify geologic periods (or faunal stages). ... The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 ± 0. ...


Identification of the trackmaker

The organisms which produce trace fossils are usually not preserved with their markings and, although it may be possible to deduce what the animal was doing at the time, it is usually impossible conclusively to determine the maker of the trace and to assign it to a given species of animal. Since different types of organisms are able to make the same types of markings, trace fossils are usually classified by their shape and their cause (such as feeding, dwelling, or crawling), rather than by the types of organisms which made them. In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...


The usual classifications for trace fossils are ichnogenera for genera and ichnospecies for species. It should be emphasized that ichnogenera and ichnospecies are artificial classifications that apply only to the trace fossils themselves and do not relate to the genus or species of the organisms which produced them. For other uses of the word, please see Genus (disambiguation). ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...


Inherent bias and principle of actualism

Most trace fossils are known from marine deposits[citation needed]. Essentially, there are two types of traces, either exogenic ones, which are on the surface of the sediment (such as tracks) or endogenic ones, which are within the layers of sediment (such as burrows).


Surface trails on sediment, in shallow marine environments, stand less chance of fossilization, because they are subjected to wave and current action. Conditions in quiet, deep-water environments tend to be more favourable for preserving fine trace structures.


Most trace fossils are usually readily identified by reference to similar phenomena in modern environments. This method is known as the principle of actualism. However, the structures made by organisms in recent sediment have only been studied in a limited range of environments, mostly in coastal areas, including tidal flats. Many trace fossils were formed within the sediment itself, by infaunal species rather than just at the surface, so it is more difficult to compare them to modern forms. Within scientific philosophy, uniformitarianism is the principle in which one assumes that the same processes that shaped the Universe occurred then as they do now, unless there is good evidence otherwise. ... Mudflats are relatively flat, muddy regions found in intertidal areas. ... Fauna is a collective term for animal life. ...


Examples

No generally accepted soft sediment trace fossils are found in rocks older than the latter part of the Ediacaran period (580 to 542 million years ago) of the Neoproterozoic era, with the earliest undoubted occurrences perhaps only 570 My old or even younger. During the succeeding Cambrian period, trace fossils greatly diversify in all ways. One well-known occurrence of trace fossils from this period is the famous 'Pipe Rock' of northwest Scotland. The 'pipes', which give the rock its name, are closely packed straight tubes, which were presumably made by some kind of worm-like organism. The name given to this type of tube or burrow is Skolithos, which may be 30 cm (12") in length and between 2 to 4 cm (0.8 to 1.6") in diameter. Such traces are known worldwide from sands and sandstones deposited in shallow water environments, from the Cambrian period (542 to 488 m.y.a) onwards. The Ediacaran Period (from the Ediacara Hills of South Australia) is the last geological period of the Neoproterozoic Era, just before the Cambrian. ... The Neoproterozoic Era is the unit of geologic time from 1,000 to 542 +/- 0. ... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic) Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic and Scots1 Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Monarch Queen Elizabeth II... A worm is an elongated, slender, soft-bodied invertebrate animal. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ...


Other common types of trace fossil made by invertebrates are Chondrites, Cruziana, Thalassinoides, Asteriacites, Rhizocorallium, Teichichnus, Protichnites, and Climactichnites. These are all ichnogenera: Invertebrate is a term that describes any animal without a spinal column. ...

  • Chondrites are small branching burrows of the same diameter, which superficially resemble the roots of a plant. The most likely candidate for having constructed these burrows is a nematode (roundworm). Chondrites are found in marine sediments from the Cambrian period of the Paleozoic onwards. They are especially common in sediments which were deposited in reduced-oxygen environments.
Cruziana
Cruziana
  • Cruziana are excavation trace marks made on the sea floor which have a two-lobed structure with a central groove. The lobes are covered with scratch marks made by the legs of the excavating organism, usually a trilobite or allied arthropod and, in fact, several different types of trilobite have been discovered at the end of Cruziana trails[citation needed]. Cruziana are most common in marine sediments formed during the Paleozoic era, particularly in rocks from the Cambrian and Ordovician periods. Over 30 species of Cruziana have been identified.
  • Thalassinoides are burrows which occur parallel to the bedding plane of the rock and are extremely abundant in rocks, worldwide, from the Jurassic period onwards. They are repeatedly branched, with a slight swelling present at the junctions of the tubes. The burrows are cylindrical and vary from 2 to 5 cm (0.8" to 2") in diameter. Thalassinoides sometimes contain scratch marks, droppings or the bodily remains of the crustaceans which made them.
  • Asteriacites is the name given to the five-rayed fossils found in rocks and they record the resting place of starfish on the sea floor. Asteriacites are found in European and American rocks, from the Ordovician period onwards; and are numerous in rocks from the Jurassic period of Germany.
  • Rhizocorallium is a type of burrow, the inclination of which is typically within 10° of the bedding planes of the sediment. These burrows can be very large, over a meter long in sediments that show good preservation, e.g. Jurassic rocks of the Yorkshire Coast (eastern United Kingdom), but the width is usually only up to 2 cm, restricted by the size of the organisms producing it. It is thought that they represent fodinichnia as the animal (probably a nematode) scoured the sediment for food.
  • Teichichnus has a distinctive form produced by the stacking of thin 'tongues' of sediment, atop one another. They are again believed to be fodinichnia, with the organism adopting the habit of retracing the same route through varying heights of the sediment, which would allow it to avoid going over the same area. These 'tongues' are often quite sinuous, reflecting perhaps a more nutrient-poor environment in which the feeding animals had to cover a greater area of sediment, in order to acquire sufficient nourishment.
  • Protichnites consists of two rows of tracks and a linear depression between the two rows. The tracks are believed to have been made by the walking appendages of arthropods. The linear depression is thought to be the result of a dragging tail. The structures bearing this name were typically made on the tidal flats of Paleozoic seas, but similar ones extend into the Cenozoic.
  • Climactichnites is the name given to trackways that usually consist of two parallel ridges separated by chevron-shaped raised cross bars. They somewhat resemble tire tracks, and are larger (typically about four inches wide) than most of the other trace fossils made by invertebrates. The tracks were produced on sandy tidal flats during late Cambrian time. While the identity of the animal is still conjectural, it may have been a large slug-like animal - its trackways produced as it crawled over and processed the wet sand to obtain food.

Less ambiguous than the above ichnogenera, are the traces left behind by invertebrates such as Hibbertopterus, a giant "sea scorpion" or eurypterid of the early Paleozoic era. This marine arthropod produced a spectacular hibbertopteroid track preserved in Scotland.[1] Classes Adenophorea    Subclass Enoplia    Subclass Chromadoria Secernentea    Subclass Rhabditia    Subclass Spiruria    Subclass Diplogasteria The nematodes or roundworms (Phylum Nematoda from Greek (nema): thread + -ode like) are one of the most common phyla of animals, with over 20,000 different described species (over 15,000 are parasitic). ... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... The Paleozoic Era (from the Greek palaio, old and zoion, animals, meaning ancient life) is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x954, 319 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Trilobite ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x954, 319 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Trilobite ... Orders Agnostida Nectaspida Redlichiida Corynexochida Lichida Phacopida Subclass: Librostoma Proetida Asaphida Harpetida Ptychopariida For the robot vacuum cleaner, see Electrolux Trilobite. ... The Paleozoic Era (from the Greek palaio, old and zoion, animals, meaning ancient life) is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... The Ordovician period is the second of the six (seven in North America) periods of the Paleozoic era. ... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... Classes & Subclasses Branchiopoda Phyllopoda Sarsostraca Remipedia Cephalocarida Maxillopoda Thecostraca Tantulocarida Branchiura Pentastomida Mystacocarida Copepoda Ostracoda Myodocopa Podocopa Malacostraca Phyllocarida Hoplocarida Eumalacostraca The nauplius larva of a dendrobranchiate Porcellio scaber, the common rough woodlouse, a terrestrial crustacean Pollicipes polymerus, the gooseneck barnacle Glyphea pseudastacus, a fossil glypheoid The crustaceans (Crustacea) are... Orders Brisingida (100 species[1]) Forcipulatida (300 species[2]) Paxillosida (255 species[3]) Notomyotida (75 species[4]) Spinulosida (120 species[5]) Valvatida (695 species[6]) Velatida (200 species[7]) For other uses, see Starfish (disambiguation). ... The Ordovician period is the second of the six (seven in North America) periods of the Paleozoic era. ... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... A burrow is a hole or tunnel dug into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct of locomotion. ... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... Look up Yorkshire in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Classes Adenophorea    Subclass Enoplia    Subclass Chromadoria Secernentea    Subclass Rhabditia    Subclass Spiruria    Subclass Diplogasteria The nematodes or roundworms (Phylum Nematoda from Greek (nema): thread + -ode like) are one of the most common phyla of animals, with over 20,000 different described species (over 15,000 are parasitic). ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... A trace fossil consisting of the imprints made by the walking activity of an unknown arthropod. ... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - spiders,scorpions, etc. ... The Paleozoic Era (from the Greek palaio, old and zoion, animals, meaning ancient life) is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... The Cenozoic Era (IPA pronunciation: ); sometimes Caenozoic Era (in the United Kingdom), meaning new life (Greek (kainos), new, and (zoe), life), is the most recent of the three classic geological eras. ... Climactichnites is a genus of trace fossil formed on sandy tidal flats in portions of Canada and northern United States around 510 Ma during late Cambrian time. ... Invertebrate is a term coined by Chevalier de Lamarck to describe any animal without a backbone or vertebra, like insects, squids and worms. ... The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... Subinfraorders, superfamilies, and families See text Slugs are gastropod mollusks without shells or with very small internal shells, in contrast to snails, which have a prominent coiled shell. ... Invertebrate is a term that describes any animal without a spinal column. ... Hibbertopterus is a genus of giant sea scorpions (class Eurypterida) extinct 250 million years ago, thought to have inhabited the swamps of Scotland. ... Orders many, all extinct The eurypterids were the largest known arthropods that ever lived. ... Orders †Stylonuroidea Diener, 1924 †Eurypteroidea Burmeister, 1843 The eurypterids (sea scorpion) were the largest known arthropods that ever lived (with the possible exception of the Arthropleurids). ... The Paleozoic Era (from the Greek palaio, old and zoion, animals, meaning ancient life) is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - spiders,scorpions, etc. ...


Bioerosion through time has produced a magnificent record of borings, gnawings, scratchings and scrapings on hard substrates. These trace fossils are usually divided into macroborings (see Wilson, 2007) and microborings (see Glaub & Vogel, 2004, and Glaub et al., 2007). Bioerosion intensity and diversity is punctuated by two events. One is called the Ordovician Bioerosion Revolution (see Wilson & Palmer, 2006) and the other was in the Jurassic (see Taylor & Wilson, 2003). For a comprehensive bibliography of the bioerosion literature, please see the External Links below. Bioerosion describes the erosion of hard ocean substrates by living organisms by a number of mechanisms. ...


The oldest types of tetrapod tail-and-foot prints date back to the latter Devonian period. These vertebrate impressions have been found in Scotland, Pennsylvania, and Australia. Groups See text. ... Artists illustration of a Devonian scene. ... Classes and Clades See below Male and female Superb Fairy-wren Vertebrates are members of the subphylum Vertebrata (within the phylum Chordata), specifically, those chordates with backbones or spinal columns. ... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic) Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic and Scots1 Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Monarch Queen Elizabeth II... Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ...


Important trace fossils of human evolution are the Laetoli (Tanzania) footprints, imprinted in volcanic ash 3.7 million years ago (mya) -- probably by an early Australopithecus. // For the history of humans on Earth, see History of the world. ... The Plio-Pleistocene site of Laetoli in Tanzania is famous for its hominid footprints, preserved in volcanic ash (Site G). ... For other uses of mya, see mya (disambiguation). ... Species †A. afarensis (Lucy) †A. africanus †A. anamensis †A. bahrelghazali †A. garhi Formerly Australopithecus, now Paranthropus † † † For the song Australopithecus by Modest Mouse, see Sad Sappy Sucker. ...

See also

Bioerosion describes the erosion of hard ocean substrates by living organisms by a number of mechanisms. ... Precambrian (3. ... A fossilized dinosaur footprint from a fossil trackway at Clayton Lake State Park, New Mexico. ... Trace fossil classification is ostensibly based upon a similar framework to the classification of organisms. ... This footprint carved into the rock on Dunadd, in Argyll, is linked to the crowning of the Scots kings of Dál Riata. ...

References

  1. ^ Whyte, MA (2005) Palaeoecology: A gigantic fossil arthropod trackway. Nature, 438: 576.
  • Bromley, R.G., 1970. Borings as trace fossils and Entobia cretacea Portlock as an example, p. 49-90. In: Crimes, T.P. and Harper, J.C. (eds.), Trace Fossils. Geological Journal Special Issue 3.
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