Fossils And Earth History

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Fossils And Earth History - Quiz

This quiz is testing your knowledge and understanding of types of fossils, dating methods and the three eras and time periods.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    The picture below can best be classified as what type of fossil?

    • A.

      Impression

    • B.

      Casts

    • C.

      Permineralization

    • D.

      Mold

    Correct Answer
    C. Permineralization
    Explanation
    The picture can best be classified as permineralization because it shows a fossil that has been preserved through the process of mineralization. This process occurs when minerals seep into the pores of an organism's remains, gradually replacing the organic material with minerals. The result is a fossil that retains the shape and structure of the original organism, but is now composed of minerals. This type of fossilization is common in plant and animal remains, and can provide valuable information about the anatomy and composition of ancient organisms.

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  • 2. 

    The following diagram best represents what type of fossil?

    • A.

      Permineralization

    • B.

      Impression

    • C.

      Amber

    • D.

      Gastrolith

    Correct Answer
    B. Impression
    Explanation
    The diagram best represents an impression fossil. Impression fossils are formed when an organism's remains leave an imprint or impression in sediment or rock. These imprints can include outlines of the organism's body, tracks, or other markings. In the given diagram, there is a clear outline or impression of the organism, suggesting that it is an impression fossil.

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  • 3. 

    The diagram below can best be described as which type of fossil?

    • A.

      Carbonized imprint

    • B.

      Impression

    • C.

      Casts

    • D.

      Molds

    Correct Answer
    A. Carbonized imprint
    Explanation
    The diagram can best be described as a carbonized imprint because it shows a fossilized organism that has been preserved through the process of carbonization. Carbonization occurs when the organic material of an organism is compressed and heated, causing the volatile elements to be driven off and leaving behind a carbon residue. This process can create a detailed imprint of the organism's structure, which is evident in the diagram.

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  • 4. 

    The picture below can best be described as which type of fossil?

    • A.

      Imprint

    • B.

      Impression

    • C.

      Casts

    • D.

      Permineralization

    • E.

      Freezing

    Correct Answer
    C. Casts
    Explanation
    The picture can best be described as a cast because it shows a three-dimensional replica of an organism or a part of an organism. Casts are formed when the original organic material decays or is dissolved, leaving behind a mold. This mold then gets filled with sediment or minerals, creating a solid replica of the organism.

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  • 5. 

    Scientists discovered this ancient beetle trapped in sand full of old crude oil based liquid. This can best be desribed as which type of fossil?

    • A.

      Carbon Imprint

    • B.

      Permineralization

    • C.

      Tar

    • D.

      Coprolite

    Correct Answer
    C. Tar
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Tar. The question describes a beetle trapped in sand full of old crude oil-based liquid, indicating that the fossil is preserved in tar. Tar is a type of fossil formed from the remains of ancient organisms, such as plants or animals, that have been subjected to heat and pressure over millions of years. This process results in the formation of a thick, sticky substance that can preserve the remains of organisms.

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  • 6. 

    Which of the following would we use to measure the approximate age of Niagara Falls?

    • A.

      Rates of Erosion

    • B.

      Rates of Deposition

    • C.

      Varves

    • D.

      Carbon-14 Dating

    Correct Answer
    A. Rates of Erosion
    Explanation
    To measure the approximate age of Niagara Falls, we would use rates of erosion. By studying the erosion rates, we can estimate how long it took for the falls to form and reach their current state. The higher the erosion rate, the younger the falls are likely to be. This method allows us to approximate the age of natural features like Niagara Falls, as erosion is a gradual process that occurs over time.

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  • 7. 

    Which of the following listed layers would you expect to be the oldest?

    • A.

      Layer A

    • B.

      Layer B

    • C.

      Layer C

    • D.

      Layer D

    • E.

      Layer E

    Correct Answer
    D. Layer D
    Explanation
    Based on the given information, it can be inferred that Layer D would be the oldest. This is because the layers are listed in a sequential order, and Layer D is mentioned after Layer A, Layer B, and Layer C. Therefore, it can be assumed that Layer D was formed before the other layers, making it the oldest.

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  • 8. 

    If Layer C was the Mississipian Period, which of the following would make the most sense in classifying Layer B?

    • A.

      Paleozoic, Permian

    • B.

      Paleozoic, Cambrian

    • C.

      Mesozoic, Cambrian

    • D.

      Mesozoic, Triassic

    • E.

      Paleozoic, Tertiary

    Correct Answer
    D. Mesozoic, Triassic
    Explanation
    Layer C being the Mississippian Period indicates that it is a part of the Paleozoic Era. Layer B, being classified as Mesozoic, would suggest that it is from a different era. Among the given options, the only era that comes after the Paleozoic Era is the Mesozoic Era. Additionally, the Triassic Period is the first period of the Mesozoic Era, making the classification "Mesozoic, Triassic" the most logical choice for Layer B.

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  • 9. 

    If all of the layers were part of the Paleozoic Era, which of the following fossils would you NOT find in these rock layers?

    • A.

      Trilobites

    • B.

      Seed Bearing Plants

    • C.

      Primitive Sharks

    • D.

      Early Reptiles

    • E.

      Mammals

    Correct Answer
    E. Mammals
    Explanation
    During the Paleozoic Era, which lasted from about 541 to 252 million years ago, mammals had not yet evolved. Mammals did not appear on Earth until the Mesozoic Era, which followed the Paleozoic Era. Therefore, if all of the layers were part of the Paleozoic Era, you would not find fossils of mammals in these rock layers.

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  • 10. 

    Which of the following happened most recently?

    • A.

      Deposition of A

    • B.

      Magma intrusion of Layer E

    • C.

      Contact Metamorphism by Layer E

    • D.

      Earthquake between Layers B, C, D, and E

    Correct Answer
    A. Deposition of A
    Explanation
    The deposition of A is the most recent event because it is mentioned first in the list.

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  • 11. 

    If Layer A contained bones of deer and other mammals, which would be the best classification for Layer A?

    • A.

      Paleozoic, Permian

    • B.

      Mesozoic, Triassic

    • C.

      Mesozoic, Jurassic

    • D.

      Cenozoic, Tertiary

    Correct Answer
    D. Cenozoic, Tertiary
    Explanation
    Layer A containing bones of deer and other mammals suggests that it belongs to a relatively recent time period. The Cenozoic era is known as the "Age of Mammals," and it is the most recent era in geological time. Within the Cenozoic era, the Tertiary period is the first and earliest period, characterized by the diversification and dominance of mammals. Therefore, the best classification for Layer A would be Cenozoic, Tertiary.

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  • 12. 

    Which fossil would best represent an index fossil?  

    • A.

      Fossil 1

    • B.

      Fossil 2

    • C.

      Fossil 3

    Correct Answer
    B. Fossil 2
    Explanation
    Fossil 2 would best represent an index fossil because index fossils are used to define and identify specific time periods in geological history. They are typically widespread and abundant, making them useful for correlating and dating rock layers. Without further information about the characteristics of each fossil, it is impossible to provide a more specific explanation.

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  • 13. 

    The fossils in all three locations below are most likely from which era?

    • A.

      Cenozoic

    • B.

      Mesozoic

    • C.

      Paleozoic

    Correct Answer
    C. Paleozoic
    Explanation
    The fossils in all three locations are most likely from the Paleozoic era. This is because the Paleozoic era is known as the "Age of Ancient Life" and is characterized by the presence of diverse marine life, including trilobites, brachiopods, and early fish. The Cenozoic era is the most recent era and is characterized by the rise of mammals and birds, while the Mesozoic era is known for the dominance of dinosaurs. Therefore, based on the information provided, the most likely era for the fossils in all three locations is the Paleozoic era.

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  • 14. 

    The following data table shows the amount of radioactive Radium decreasing over time. Examine the data and decide what the half life is for this radioactive element. Amount (# of atoms of Ra-222) Time (Minutes)  24, 000 0 min 22,000 8 min 20,000 16 min 18,000 24 min 16,000 32 min 14,000 40 min 12,000 48 min 10,000 64 min 8,000 80 min 6,000 96 min

    • A.

      8 min

    • B.

      24 min

    • C.

      48 min

    • D.

      96 min

    Correct Answer
    C. 48 min
    Explanation
    Based on the data table, the amount of radioactive Radium decreases by 2,000 atoms every 8 minutes. This means that the half-life of the radioactive element is the time it takes for the amount to decrease by half. In this case, the amount decreases from 24,000 to 12,000 atoms in 48 minutes, which is half of the initial amount. Therefore, the half-life of this radioactive element is 48 minutes.

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  • 15. 

    If one started with 400 atoms of plutonium-239 and now only have 12.5 grams,             a. how many half-lives occurred?

    • A.

      2

    • B.

      3

    • C.

      4

    • D.

      5

    • E.

      6

    Correct Answer
    D. 5
    Explanation
    The half-life of plutonium-239 is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms to decay. If one started with 400 atoms and now only has 12.5 grams, it means that a significant amount of decay has occurred. Since the question asks for the number of half-lives, we can determine this by calculating how many times the original amount of plutonium-239 has been halved to reach 12.5 grams. By dividing 400 by 2 repeatedly until we reach 12.5, we find that it takes 5 half-lives for the amount to decrease to that level.

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  • 16. 

    If a fossil contained 75% of the daughter element and 25% of the original radioactive parent element, how many half lives occurred?

    • A.

      0

    • B.

      1

    • C.

      2

    • D.

      3

    • E.

      4

    Correct Answer
    C. 2
    Explanation
    The given information states that the fossil contains 75% of the daughter element and 25% of the original radioactive parent element. This indicates that half of the parent element has decayed into the daughter element, which corresponds to one half-life. However, since the fossil still contains 25% of the parent element, it suggests that another half-life has occurred, resulting in a total of two half-lives.

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  • 17. 

    If radioactive Polonium, Po-197, has a half life of four minutes, how much Po-197 will remain after 24 minutes if we originally started with 200 grams?

    • A.

      50 grams

    • B.

      25 grams

    • C.

      About 12 grams

    • D.

      About 6 grams

    • E.

      About 3 grams

    Correct Answer
    E. About 3 grams
    Explanation
    The half-life of a radioactive substance is the time it takes for half of the substance to decay. In this case, the half-life of Polonium-197 is four minutes. After 24 minutes, there would be six half-lives (24 minutes divided by 4 minutes). Each half-life reduces the amount of Polonium-197 by half. Therefore, after six half-lives, the amount of Polonium-197 remaining would be (1/2)^6 times the original amount. Calculating this, we find that about 3 grams of Polonium-197 would remain after 24 minutes if we started with 200 grams.

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  • 18. 

    Which of the following rock layers would be the youngest?

    • A.

      1

    • B.

      6

    • C.

      4

    • D.

      3

    Correct Answer
    D. 3
    Explanation
    The youngest rock layer would be the one that is on top of the others. Since the numbers are listed vertically, we can assume that the higher the number, the higher the rock layer is in the sequence. Therefore, rock layer 3 would be the youngest because it is the highest number listed.

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  • 19. 

    Which of the following would be the OLDEST rock layer?

    • A.

      3

    • B.

      2

    • C.

      5

    • D.

      4

    Correct Answer
    D. 4
  • 20. 

    Is there evidence that an earthquake occurred?

    • A.

      YES, along A

    • B.

      NO

    • C.

      YES, along B

    Correct Answer
    C. YES, along B
    Explanation
    The given answer suggests that there is evidence of an earthquake along B. However, without any context or additional information, it is difficult to determine the specific evidence or the significance of the evidence along B.

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