Ancient Paleontology Adventure

Compiled by Kim Ouderkirk, Tuscaloosa Academy, All images are from Microsoft Office® Clipart unless otherwise indicated

Let’s start our journey with an overview of what is known about the development of life on earth

PART 1: Time lines

Understanding Geologic time -Use this interactive to learn how our knowledge of the past is organized

As you view these time lines, you may want to think about the following questions:

How is the passage of time shown?

Is this time line done to scale? How can you tell?

What types of organisms existed in each era? Which ones still exist today?

What was happening to the land?

Time Line 1 Time line 2 Time line 3
by National Geographic by Kidipede by Chicago’s Field Museu

PART 2: The Fossil Record

note: filters that block video sites may only display text for this link

Explore the various links to understand how scientists study fossils.

Digging for Dinosaurs - This site allows you to learn about the tools paleontologists use to unearth fossils.

On a Dig - This video shows how paleontologists are using new technology to learn more about fossils. This wired science site also contains links to other videos you may find interesting.

Rebuilding the bones -€“ Can you rebuild a skeleton from a jumble pile of bones?

The Dating Game? - Use this site to find out about some ways we can find the age of fossils. Try your hand at dating some fossils found in a cross section of sediments.

Amber -€“ This American Museum of Natural History site explores ancient worlds trapped in tree sap.

Fossils in Coal Mines -€“ Ancient forests visible in coal mines. For more images check out the Illinois State Geological Survey link on this site

Darwin - a National science foundation overview of Charles Darwin’€™s contribution to our understanding of earth’s history

Understanding the evidence Science, Evolution, and Creationism
For more fun interactives, click on Paleontology Playground

Now let’€™s zoom in on Alabama

Ancient Alabama Adventure

PART 3: Alabama’€™s Geologic History

Geologic Map showing the age of surface rocks from Sandy Ebersole, Geologic Survey of Alabama

In this section, we’€™ll use a variety of sources to learn more about Alabama’s Geologic past.

Paleoportal for Alabama – This interactive map site shows images of rock location by age with pictures of fossils from that time where available. From this site, you can also explore the geologic history of all 50 states!

Alabama Fossils -€“ This link takes you to the fossil section of the Encyclopedia of Alabama. It provides a good resource for general information about the state.

16. Geological History of Alabama (APT series produced by Alabama Museum of Natural History) This DVD is available on-line. It provides an excellent overview of the state’s geologic history with a tour of important fossil sites. After clicking on the link , click on the star burst “Now on iTunes U”.

Sea Level Changes -€“ This site provides a series of images showing the level of the oceans around North America. States are outlined so you should be able to keep track of Alabama. Now let’s explore Alabama era by era. . .

What’s in your county?

Chilton County

Note: This is a work in progress. Please contact us at if you have a source for fossil images from counties that are not yet represented.  We’€™d love to complete the picture.

Now let’s explore Alabama era by era. . .

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