Term Paper

Topics: Evolution, Charles Darwin, Fossil Pages: 4 (1293 words) Published: May 15, 2013
There are many strengths and weaknesses when using the fossil record as a means to establish the theory of evolution. Since the discovery of fossils paleontologist have been trying to establish an accurate timeline of our historical evolution. Through the years many discoveries have been uncovered and assembled to help create a glimpse into our evolutionary past.

Using the fossil record can “help us reconstruct patterns in the history of life”. (Starr, 244) We can reconstruct what has happened in the past and why a particular species has gone extinct. We can look at the various circumstances whether it is by natural selection, mass extinction, or some other natural disaster that may have over-come several species types or just one species. Upon the discovery of the Basilosaurus which was a long whale like creature. The fossil that was discovered was a partial skull of this species of whale. “Writing to his staunch advocate T.H. Huxley in 1871, Darwin asked whether the ancient whale might represent a transitional form. Huxley replied that there could be little doubt that Basilosaurus provided clues as to the ancestry of whales.”(Switek, 156) By analyzing the particular bone structure and the way in which the bones are assembled a close recreation of where the species may have evolved from exists and what their habitat may have looked like according to the time period that they were from. By understanding the evolution of species of animals by discovering their fossils we can construct what the habitat may have looked like and what the animal ate and potentially what its role was in the ecosystem.

We also have the strengths of showing what may have happened between a species to further highlight the theory of natural selection. We can use this to show how animals have evolved to create a better chance of survival by utilizing what abilities they have to survive in their particular habitat. Another strength is that it allows us to potentially look...
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