March has arrived and it is time to register your kids for summer camps. If you live in the Mount Pleasant / Charleston, South Carolina, area or plan to visit this June, I would love to have you join us for Rock Detectives Camp. The camp will be held at the Park West Recreation Building in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on June 19 through 23, 2017 from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. Come join us for a full week of geology fun!
Paleontologists are geologists and scientists who specialize in the study of fossils. Fossils help to tell the story of our great Earth. Almost all fossils are found in sedimentary rock such as shale, limestone, and sandstone. A fossil is formed when an animal or plant dies and is quickly buried by sediment before it has time to decay. The hard parts of the animal or plant such as shells, bone and wood are fossilized in the rock formed from the sediment.
Fossils are the remains or impressions of once living organisms that you can find in sedimentary rocks. There are two basic types of fossils that geologists and paleontologists talk about. These are body fossils and trace fossils. Body fossils are a real body part of an animal such as a dinosaur bone or a shark tooth. A trace fossil is something that shows evidence that something was there such as tracks, burrows, trails, molds, casts, and impressions.
Index fossils are very important to geologists because they help to tell the tale of our Earth’s history. Geologists use these specific fossils to determine the relative age of rock layers and to correlate those rock layers worldwide. Sound far-fetched? It isn’t really. Some fossils have such unique characteristics that if you find them, you know exactly where you are in the age of Earth. Good index fossils lived for only a short period of time but lived all over the world.