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NYS Earth Science Regents Review Practice - Geologic Time - Question 22 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Earth Science Wizard   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:03

22. Which group of organisms, some of which were preserved as fossils in early Paleozoic rocks, are still in existence today?

A) Graptolites

B) Eurypterids

C) Brachiopods

D) Trilobites

Correct Answer: Option C – Brachiopods

The brachiopods are a large group of solitary and exclusively marine organisms with a very good geologic history throughout most of the Phanerozoic and are among the most successful benthic macroinvertebrates of the Paleozoic. They are typified by two mineralized valves which enclose most of the animal. Like the bryozoans, brachiopods are filter feeders which collect food particles on a ciliated organ called the lophophore. An excellent example of a brachiopod lophophore can be seen in the recent terebratulid. Brachiopods differ in many ways from bryozoans (in both soft and hard-part morphology), and are thus considered by most workers as a separate but closely related phylum. However, one of the most distinguishing features of brachiopods is the presence of a pedicle, a fleshy stalk-like structure that aids the animal in burrowing and maintaining stability.

Incorrect Options

Graptolites are common fossils and have a worldwide distribution. The preservation, quantity and gradual change over a geologic time scale of graptolites allows the fossils to be used to date strata of rocks throughout the world. They are important index fossils for dating Palaeozoic rocks as they evolved rapidly with time and formed many different species. Graptolites are also used to estimate water depth and temperature during the graptolites lifetimes. Graptolite fossils are often found in shales and mud rocks where sea-bed fossils are rare, this type of rock having formed from sediment deposited in relatively deep water that had poor bottom circulation, was deficient in oxygen, and had no scavengers. The dead planktonic graptolites, having sunk to the sea-floor, would eventually become entombed in the sediment and are thus well preserved.

Graptolites are also found in limestones and cherts, but generally these rocks were deposited in conditions which were more favorable for bottom-dwelling life, including scavengers, and undoubtedly most graptolite remains deposited here were generally eaten by other animals.

Eurypterids (sea scorpions) are an extinct group of arthropods related to arachnids, which include the largest known arthropods that ever lived. They are members of the extinct class Eurypterida (Chelicerata).They were formidable predators that thrived in warm shallow water in the Ordovician to Permian from 460 to 248 million years ago. Although informally called 'sea scorpions', only the earliest ones were marine (later ones lived in brackish or freshwater), and they were not true scorpions

Trilobites ("three-lobes") are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita. Trilobites first appear in the fossil record during the Early Cambrian period (540 million years ago) and flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before beginning a drawn-out decline to extinction when, during the Devonian, all trilobite orders, with the sole exception of Proetida, died out. Trilobites finally disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Permian about 250 million years ago.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:12
 
NYS Earth Science Regents Review Practice - Geologic Time - Question 23 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Earth Science Wizard   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:05

23. During which geologic time span did Mammoths exist?

A) Pleistocene Epoch

B) Pennsylvanian Epoch

C) Precambrian Era

D) Palezoic Era

Correct Answer: Option A - Pleistocene Epoch

The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2.588 million to 10 000 years before present covering the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. It follows the Pliocene epoch and is followed by the Holocene epoch. The Pleistocene is the first epoch of the Quaternary period or 6th epoch of the Cenozoic Era. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the retreat of the last continental glacier. It also corresponds with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology.

A mammoth is a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of the elephant family and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. They lived from the Pliocene epoch from around 4.8 million to 4,500 years ago.

Hence, Mammoths existed in the Pleistocene epoch.

Incorrect Options

Pennsylvanian Epoch being the youngest subperiod of the carboniferous period, lasted from about 318 to 299 million years before present.

Precambrian Era is an informal name for the supereon comprising the eons of the geologic timescale that came before the current Phanerozoic eon. It spans from the formation of Earth around 4500 million years ago, to the evolution of abundant macroscopic hard-shelled animals, which marked the beginning of the Cambrian, the first period of the first era of the Phanerozoic eon, some 542 million years ago.

Paleozoic Era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. The Paleozoic spanned from roughly 542 to 251 million years ago.

Hence, options A, B and C are incorrect.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:12
 
NYS Earth Science Regents Review Practice - Geologic Time - Question 25 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Earth Science Wizard   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:12

25. During which two geologic time periods did most of the surface bedrock of the Taconic Mountains form?

A) Silurian and Devonian

B) Cambrian and Ordovician

C) Pennsylvanian and Mississippian

D) Triassic and Jurassic

Correct Answer: Option B - Cambrian and Ordovician

The Cambrian is the first geological period of the Phanerozoic eon, lasting from 542 ± 0.3 million years ago to 488.3 ± 1.7 million years ago. The Taconic mountain range was formed from the collision of the North American Plate into a volcanic island arc, similar to modern-day Japan, during the late Ordovician period, around 440 million years ago. The total length of the range is about 200 miles (320 km) with a varying width of 5 to 20 miles.

Incorrect Options

The Silurian is a geologic period and system that extends from the end of the Ordovician period, about 443.7 ± 1.5 Ma (million years ago), to the beginning of the Devonian period, about 416.0 ± 2.8 Ma.

The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic era spanning from 416 to 359.2 million years ago.

The Pennsylvanian is in the ICS geologic timescale the youngest subperiod or upper subsystem of the Carboniferous period. It lasted from roughly 318.1± 1.3 to 299± 0.8 Ma (million years ago).

The Mississippian is a subperiod in the geologic timescale or a subsystem of the geologic record. It is the earliest/lowermost of two subperiods of the Carboniferous period lasting from roughly 359 to 318 Ma (million years ago).

The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 251 to 199 Ma (million years ago).

The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 199.6± 0.6 Ma (million years ago) to 145.5± 4 Ma, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous

 
NYS Earth Science Regents Review Practice - Geologic Time - Question 29 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Earth Science Wizard   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:30

29. Which group of organisms is inferred to have existed for the least amount of time in geologic history?

A) Trilobites

B) Placoderm fish

C) Eurypterids

D) Dinosaurs

Correct Answer: Option B – Placoderm fish

Placoderms are arguably the most diverse groups of the early jawed fishes. They first appeared in the Early Silurian and diversified dramatically during the Devonian, but became extinct at the end of that period. About 200 genera of placoderms evolved during this interval, with the vast majority restricted to the Devonian. Some developed into the first vertebrate giants.

Incorrect Options

Trilobites ("three-lobes") are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita. Trilobites first appear in the fossil record during the Early Cambrian period (540 million years ago) and flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before beginning a drawn-out decline to extinction when, during the Devonian, all trilobite orders, with the sole exception of Proetida, died out. Trilobites finally disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Permian about 250 million years ago.

Eurypterids (sea scorpions) are an extinct group of arthropods related to arachnids, which include the largest known arthropods that ever lived. They are members of the extinct class Eurypterida (Chelicerata).They were formidable predators that thrived in warm shallow water in the Ordovician to Permian from 460 to 248 million years ago. Although informally called 'sea scorpions', only the earliest ones were marine (later ones lived in brackish or freshwater), and they were not true scorpions.

Dinosaurs were the dominant vertebrate animals of terrestrial ecosystems for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period (about 230 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous period (65 million years ago), when most of them became extinct in the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event. The 10000 living species of birds may be classified as dinosaurs.

 
NYS Earth Science Regents Review Practice - Geologic Time - Question 30 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Earth Science Wizard   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:34

30. Which rock was organically formed and sometimes contains fossilized plant impressions?

A) Rock gypsum

B) Coal

C) Breccia

D) Phyllite

Correct Answer: Coal

Coal is a readily combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock normally occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure. It is composed primarily of carbon along with variable quantities of other elements, chiefly sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.

Coal was formed from layer upon layer of annual plant remains accumulating slowly that were protected from biodegradation by usually acidic covering waters that gave a natural antiseptic effect combating microorganisms and then later mud deposits protecting against oxidization in the widespread shallow seas — mainly during the Carboniferous period — thus trapping atmospheric carbon in the ground in immense peat bogs that eventually were covered over and deeply buried by sediments under which they metamorphosed into coal. In this manner, over time, the chemical and physical properties of the plant remains (believed to mainly have been fern-like species antedating more modern plant and tree species) were changed by geological action to create a solid material.

Coal, a fossil fuel, is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, as well as one of the largest worldwide anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide emissions. Gross carbon dioxide emissions from coal usage are slightly more than those from petroleum and about double the amount from natural gas. Coal is extracted from the ground by mining, either underground or in open pits.

 
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