For help with this material see excellent lecture notes posted here
by Bruce Walsh, University of Arizona.
Some useful web links on relative and absolute dating are here.
Please be prepared to answer any of the following review questions.
1. What is the difference between relative and absolute age estimates in paleobiology?
2. How are paleontologists able to age some fossils that do not contain any radioactive isotopes?
3. What are two important precambrian time intervals referred to by geologists?
4. According to Cowen's account, where are the oldest rocks on Earth? How old are they?
How does this compare with the claims by Zimmer in his Chapter 3?
(Extra Challenge: Compare 1 - 2 - 3)
5. What are stromatolites? How are they formed? When did they become abundant?
6. What is the relationship of stromatolites to banded iron formations (BIFs)?
7. What is the significance of the enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD)? [Please see p. 15 in Chapter 1.]
8. How did the conditions for life change during the "oxygen revolution."
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[Go to History of Life listing for Chapter 2]
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revised 9/10/14 de