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Index fossil A fossil that identifies and dates the strata in which it is typically found.To be most useful, an index fossil must have broad, even worldwide distribution and must be restricted to a narrow stratigraphic range.Mammals and birds are the dominant vertebrates on land, teleost fish in the sea, and angiosperms (flowering plants) and in certain areas conifers the predominant form of plant life.Closed system A system (rock, planet, etc.) which has no influence or exchange with the outside world.It has a certain number of protons in the nucleus and unique properties.Each element consists of a number of isotope, which have nearly all of the same properties except for their mass and their radioactive decay characteristics.
Richardson, professor of geology at Iowa State University (based on the glossary in Earth: An Introduction to Geologic Change, by S. It followed the Hadean, and lasted from around 3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago.
International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) a subordinate body of the International Union of Geological Sciences (an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the field of geology) that concerns itself with stratigraphy, geological, and geochronological matters on a global scale. The second era of the Phanerozoic eon, lasting from 251 to 65.5 million ago, and characterised by the dominance of archosaurian reptiles on land, and marine reptiles in the seas. Metamorphism The heating of rocks over long time periods at temperatures which are hot enough to change the crystal structure but not hot enough to completely melt the rock.