By Russell P. MacFall & Jay C. Wollin
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Why are animal signs trustworthy? this is often the important challenge for evolutionary biologists attracted to indications. in fact, now not all indications are trustworthy; yet such a lot are, differently receivers of indications could forget about them. a few theoretical solutions were proposed and empirical reviews made, yet there nonetheless continues to be a large amount of confusion.
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Extra resources for Fossils for Amateurs : A Handbook for Collectors
Feeding trails: T u n n e l s and b a n d s that are e x t r e m e l y winding and very n u m e r o u s , p r o b a b l y m a d e on the s u r f a c e , rarely crossing each other, made by o r g a n i s m s also in pursuit of food or on their way somewhere. 4. R e s t i n g trails: Isolated impressions with a vague outline of their producer, p r o b a b l y representing resting spots or n a p sites. 5. C r a w l i n g trails: S h o w i n g variable direction and imprints of legs, usually made on the s u r f a c e .
Evidently the mud b e c a m e hard e n o u g h b e f o r e the tissues decayed to hold the impression m a d e by the b u l k y b o d y as it s a n k in the ooze. To a like circumstance we owe preservation of fine detail of the bodies 32 FOSSILS FOR A M A T E U R S A steinkern, or internal mold of Calymene. Silurian period; Lemont, Illinois. of the large m a r i n e ichthyosaurs in the Jurassic rocks at H o l z m a d e n , G e r m a n y . E v e n the soft fleshy paddles of the reptiles made their m a r k in the rock.
PERMINERALIZATION B o n e , plant materials, and m a n y shells are porous enough f o r permineralization or replacement to occur. T h e b e s t example is the coal ball, found in some coal m i n e s . T h i s is n o t h i n g more than a m a s s of Coal A g e plant f r a g m e n t s and seeds that has b e c o m e permineralized by calcite or sometimes by iron sulfide (pyrite or m a r c a s i t e ) . W h e n the coal ball has been permineralized by calcite, the collector can p e r f o r m the interesting opera- THE N A T U R E OF FOSSILS 21 Chonetes fragilis, a brachiopod from the Devonian shale of Sylvania, Ohio.