What Are Fossils And How We Handle Them?
History leaves its prints on the pages of the earth’s crust to be preserved forever. It is us who have been able to develop the intelligence to survive in society and to be able to record our history ourselves. What’s more important is that we have been able to read the one that earth has preserved in itself, as the Fossils.
The Paleontology and its importance were first discovered in the early 1800s with the first-ever remains of a dinosaur discovered, named; Iguanodon. Since then, the excavations and people keen to unearth the geological remains have been on the move. Forty-five new species of dinosaurs are discovered each year since 2003. That gives us an estimate of the speed of paleontology spreading across the world.
How Many Types Of Fossils Are There?
Fossils are the geological remains of preexisting living creatures. Although Fossil fuel has never been a living thing, though they too make up the list because of the preserved nature of the elements and the geological effects as time passes.
The types of fossils are determined by the nature of being preserved. The same creature might turn into a few types of fossils depending on the archeological, geological, and time of fossilization. Let’s see some of the types of fossilization of organisms or types of fossils.
These are the fossils you would see hanging in the museums. They are remains of the bones of the body which have been preserved for millions of years. Upon discovering a body fossil, the excavation that starts is a careful one.
In the process of unearthing a fossil, it can be damaged, and most possibly a piece of history could be damaged which would result in lost data. The fossil is labeled on each part as it was laid on earth to piece it together configuring where each bone fits.
These are the fossils that don’t have an organism but reflect the activities that happened millions of years ago. Sometimes the activities of the preexisting creatures can be vividly seen in the rocks, wood, amber, etc. They then are subjected to research and technical diagnosis of what part of the history they reflect.
Trace fossils might include nests, footprints, damages to objects in the environment. They are dated to the period it happened and what caused that print to be formed. This has led us to identify the activities happening in each period.
Most of the elements in bodies are tend to decompose and vanish, yet the preserved fossils are still there due to the geological and environmental positioning of the fossil. Though much of an object compels with nature and dissipates, each one of the organisms shares a common element within them, Carbon.
When much of an object is gone there is sometimes remain a thin layer of carbon, whether it is beneath a rock or against a cliff. Research can still be performed on that carbon and it can still be dated back to where and who it is from.
These are the liquid substances of elements that are left behind and form a structure of an organism, either plant or animal.
It would be a challenge to identify one on the site, lab research can easily identify if has some sort of DNA in it.
The longest living and one of the first creatures were the bacteria to live in the oceans and this first happened around three billion years ago. Even though the creatures went through an evolution, bacteria remained to date.
An estimated one trillion of them are on earth and we haven’t yet discovered the 99.99%. In their early years, they have been roaming the surface of the earth and could be found in the rocks and amber all over the earth.
Digital Security of Fossils
Paleontologists have been discovering fossils for a long time now. Many of them have been destroyed and lost due to a lack of technology. Not anymore, the technological advancements have led us to finally stop the fossils from damaging while analyzing them and collecting data.
They do this by a process called Computed Tomography; medically known as a CT scan. This is how they picture the fossil to most minute detail to be analyzed. The fossil is pictured by projecting non-destructive X-rays on it. The digital image is analyzed and then the efforts begin to digitally reverse the decomposition and bring it back to its original form. This is how they protect the fossil from continuous examinations and human touches.
Restoration of Fossils
Most of the time bones have cracks and pieces of them only and scientists have to put them together to better visualize them. This is done by first digitally creating the original image of that bone. The bone is then cosmetically fixed and restored to look just like it used to.
If it is not cosmetically fixed, the skeleton when hung wouldn’t be able to hold the environment. It then has a lot of risk of breaking even further. The cosmetic restoration doesn’t affect the originality of that fossil as it remains intact. It is then ready to be clipped and hanged as it was according to the placement of the bones in the organism.
How Do You Become Paleontologist?
If you want to continue on the path of pursuing Paleontology, you should start early. Let’s go on some of the stuff that would lead you to become a Paleontologist.
Starting from high school can you get ahead. When you are actually in the trenches, working on projects. Start taking AP classes in Mathematics and Sciences in high school. You can get your profile up ahead for approval further in the field.
Getting in a camp or an excavation project would help you experience what the field would look like. It might also be a test to see if you’d still do it. It would later put up an impression to ease your way up to your Paleontology career.
Choosing a College
When choosing a college, be it the one with a good reputation in sciences. It should already have professors that are good at Paleontology. That would put you in a position to get expert help in your career. Taking a degree before a doctorate would have you in a good position to get a job. You can get into different universities, museums, or oil companies that offer jobs of Paleontologists.