How to discover a fossil's identity? - (Jun/15/2005 )
Say that amateure archeologists have found a fossil skeleton of a mamal.
How is it possible to tell exactly if it's a meat-eater, plant-eater or both?
Please answer reasonably.
One more question I had in mind.
Assume that 2 fossils of two vertebratas of 2 different divisions were found.
One of the fossils is an ancient amphibian, while the other fossil was found in one layer ABOVE the layer in which the amphibian ancient fossil was found.
Can you determine what division does the second fossil belongs to?
Lets say I was abiology student and was too busy drinking to go to a library
and research my assigments so I decided the easiest way to get answers was
to ask others on the internet.
What are the chances I'll get a straight answer?
Don't eat the yellow snow.
Although your answer amused me, maybe I should've mentioned that this is not an assignment.
I have two friends who are kind of amateure archeologists and they've found a couple of fossils in the weekend.
Since I study and am intersted in biology i offered to help them but I have no idea how to help.
Don't eat the yellow snow..you crack me up, boy.
Look at the teeth. Meat eater teeth are pointy. Plant eaters have big flat molars.
This can't be the only way..
My friends tried, but were unable to determine because of a low reservation quality if the teeth are pointed or otherwise.
What other ways can be to determine the kind of eater the fossils were?
And what about the fossil in the second layer? They've discovered that the foirst one was an amphibian, but can't determine what is the second fossil.
Maybe you could post a pic of your "fossils" to help everyone out.
*pBluescript, who is going to treat this as a serious inquiry as he is a newbie to the forum*
Look at the hip/femur articulation in relation to the vertebra.. if is more lateral then ventral, then certainly an amphib or reptile.
Look at the jaw formation and compare it to other know species.
As to you second question about the animal above the first animal in the layer of rock (or whatever). It may be older.. it may not.
Is there a lot of rock folding in the area? Is this a flood plain where layers can get mixed up.
Need to give us a little geology in order to help with phylogeny.
Common', be real. This guy has 8 or so previous posts and they are all
essay questions from a biology course. Check 'n see.
If any of us actually founda fossil we would phone an anthropologist, or a museum curator etc.