In this lab you will read information about each fossil and then answer
the questions relating to that fossil. Remember fossils are, many times,
just a portion of the entire organism. You have to use your imagination
to visualize the organisms in its setting before its final grave. Some
of these organisms may have gotten buried during a storm, which ripped
up mud and buried them alive. Some fossils may have been some other
organism’s last meal. You will look at several large groups that were
abundant as fossils in the past.
Trilobites are related to the present day arthropods, but they are
now extinct as a group. They use to be very abundant in shallow marine
environments and are a symbol of ancient life in the Paleozoic.
Mollusks are not only abundant today, but were in the past. However,
the forms that were abundant in the Mesozoic like ammonites and
nautiloid cephalopods look different from the clams and snails that are abundant
today. One of the fossils, a gastropod resembles the snails of today.
Orthoceras, a nautiloid cephalopod