Chapter 3 – Evidence of Plate Tectonics

Chapter 3 – Evidence of Plate Tectonics
Lesson 1 – What Do Rocks and Fossils Reveal?
1. Define the following vocabulary terms:
a. Fossil
b. Strata
Evidence of Change
2. What causes rock on Earth’s surface to change?
3. What kinds of evidence in rocks might help scientists learn about Earth’s history?
4. Which major event is more likely to change Earth significantly in your lifetime—an ice
age or a large object from space striking Earth? Explain.
The Rock Record
5. How do sedimentary rocks form?
6. What could scientists infer about similar rock layers that formed in different parts of the
7. What puzzled scientists about Earth’s rock strata?
The Fossil Record
8. Suppose you find a fossil of an unknown animal in the same layer as a shell fossil. What
might you conclude about where the unknown animal lived?
9. Why isn’t the fossil record a complete record of all the plants and animals that lived in
the past?
10. Will scientists in the future find fossils that preserve today’s organisms? Explain.
11. How do fossils provide clues about past climates?
12. How are trace fossils different from other kinds of fossils?
13. What is the first thing that must happen before an organism becomes fossilized?
Continental Drift
14. What was Pangaea?
15. Explain how Wegner accounted for the fact that tropical fern fossils were found in areas
of cold climate.
16. Wegener discovered that the same freshwater reptile lived in both eastern South
America and western Africa. How does this support his theory?
17. What was Wegener’s hypothesis of continental drift?