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Vertebrate Morphology, an Introduction to Evolution

This video was shot at the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County, CA,
and provides a preview of the type of content to be presented in this series.
Early Artiodactyl
Early Artiodactyl
Species change through time and adapt to their environments through the process of evolution. Evolution involves small changes in an organism that, taken over time, make it better adapted to its environment. These changes are generally not noticeable over a few generations, but accumulate over hundreds of thousands of years to create new species. Since the changes are so slow, and since many of them involve changes in soft tissue, many of the changes are not preserved in a manner that promotes direct observation and study.
Fortunately, hard tissue like bone lends itself to fossilization. When bones fossilize, the minerals in the bone are replaced with other minerals from the environment, preserving the shape of the bone perfectly. This provides a hard record of the structural changes in an animal through time. For much of history, fossils were the primary means to study evolution. In fact, Darwin compared fossils found throughout Europe and South America with modern animals he collected. This comparison was one of several factors that led to the development of the theory of evolution.

This series will explore the use of fossils in the study of evolution, and explore what the structural adaptions of organisms can reveal about the environment in which it lived.
Modern Artiodactyl
Modern Artiodactyl
Check out these links to relevant posts on the QuestX blog!
Major Influences on Charles Darwin’s EvolutionDarwin Day & The Evolution of A Quote