p. 11. Introduction
- Keith Thomson
The ‘Introduction’ outlines the aims of the book: to show what fossils are, to explain some of the concepts and principles upon which the study of fossils is based, and to discuss the broader significance of fossils in teaching us about the history of the earth and the animals and plants that have variously inhabited it for the past few billion years. By studying fossils, changing patterns in the diversity of life on earth can be detected and ancient changes in climate can be charted. Fossils also help show how the continental plates have drifted around the surface of the earth and how the surface of the earth has changed.