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Palaeoecology

Overview

Module description

The module will introduce and build upon the principles and applications of fossil preservation, ecology of fossil organisms and the changes in life through geological time. It concentrates on applications of theory and enhances relevant skills in addition to knowledge.

The module includes a day field class to Sheppey, Kent.

Indicative module content

  • Decay, quality of assemblages; scavenging, transport; shell beds; diagenesis; exceptional faunas
  • Marine environment and palaeoenvironment; communities, tiering, diversity; replacement
  • Trace fossil assemblages; palaeobiogeography

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should have knowledge of:

  • fossil preservation involving both biotic and geological processes
  • the nature of bias within the fossil record
  • exceptional fossil assemblages and their significance
  • relationships between fossil assemblages and their depositional and preservational palaeoenvironments
  • biotic and abiotic limitations on the spatial and temporal distribution of organisms
  • the nature of extinction events.