Paleozoic Era

The flashcards below were created by user Ninimew on FreezingBlue Flashcards.

  1. founder of modern geology
    James Hutton
  2. Who created the principle of faunal succession and published the first geological map of England?
    William Smith
  3. principle of faunal succession
    • Rocks were characterized by unique sets of fossil taxa: faunas
    • Faunas represent the diversity of living things at the time sediment was laid down.
    • The occurrence of many fossils was independent of the lithology of the rock.
  4. By noting the fossils present in rock, it became possible to
    • correlate rock units of varying lithologies across vast distances
    • establish time horizons in lithologically uniform or diachronous rock units
  5. Who came up with the idea of uniformitarianism?
    Charles Lyell
  6. What is uniformitarianism?
    Natural processes operating today are the same as those which operated in the past. (i.e. Laws of nature are constant.)
  7. index fossils
    • fossils useful in biostratigraphy; used to define geologic periods of time
    • common, geographically widespread, easily preservable, diagnosable, found in multiple environments (when dead), short species duration
    • ex. ammonites, shelled cephalopods that evolved quickly (lasted only a few mil years but were distributed worldwide)
  8. facies fossils
    • fossils of organisms that endured for long periods of geologic time but were linked to a specific environment
    • ex. Lingula, a brachiopod living only in lagoonal mudflats that has changed very little in the last 500 mil years
  9. stages
    groups of formations characterized by distinct faunal assemblages. e.g. Carnian stage of the late Triassic series
  10. series
    group of stages. e.g. late Triassic series
  11. The Phanerozoic marine family biodiversity curve is characterized by
    • periods of rapid increase and decrease: radiation and extinctions
    • diversity plateau
    • overall increase in diversity
  12. Evolutionary faunas refer to
    patterns of origination, dominance, and extinction
  13. evolutionary faunas in the Phanerozoic eon
    • Cambrian: trilobites and archaeocyaths
    • Paleozoic: brachiopods and echinoderms
    • Modern: decapods and bivalves
  14. What happened during the Ordovician (Paleozoic era) radiation?
    • rapid diversification (tripled) including reef builders
    • rise to dominance of Paleozoic faun
    • aincrease in ecological complexity
  15. What ecological changes occurred during the Ordovician period?
    • organisms living in close association; tightly packed communities e.g. shell beds
    • ecospace utilization: "tiering" Plants/organisms went from being only on the ocean floor to also being under the sediment
  16. tiering
    greatest concentration of nutrients typically on/at ocean floor, but less competition in the water column
  17. background extinctions
    normal rate at which individual species go extinct
  18. mass extinctions
    period with numerous species extinctions which are significantly greater normal "background" rates
  19. The first mass extinction of the Paleozoic era was
    the Ordovician extinction: 2nd biggest (~60% genera)
  20. The Ordovician extinction was caused by
    glaciations: lowered sea level, destroyed shallow marine habitats
  21. What organisms were affected by the Ordovician extinction?
    stromatoporoids, rugose, and tabulate corals
  22. The 2nd mass extinction of the Paleozoic era was
    the late Devonian extinction: depressed origination rates, huge affects on reefs
  23. possible causes of the late Devonian extinction
    glaciation: sea level and climatic changes, asteroid impacts, global marine anoxia, volcanism, reduced CO2 in plants
  24. What organisms were affected by the late Devonian extinction?
    (severely affected) brachiopods, trilobites, ammonoids, placoderms
  25. What happened to reef communities during the late Devonian extinction?
    • Geographic extent shrank severely.
    • Tabulate corals lost 70-80%; did not recover.
    • Stromatoporoids became extinct.
  26. diversity recovery of the late Devonian extinction
    Most organisms seem to recover. (Trilobites die off.)
  27. There was a severe ecological effect after the __ extinction
    late Devonian
  28. There was a transition from __ dominated beds to __ dominated after the late Devonian extinction.
    brachiopod; crinoid
  29. The Ordovician and Devonian extinctions had similar losses in __
Card Set
Paleozoic Era
Show Answers