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Earth and Life Vocab

oxygen gas produced by anaerobic prokaryotes during Precambrian tine
paleontologist a scientist who studies fossils and ancient life
rock cycle the process involving the formation and recycling of rock
metamorphic rock rock formed when existing rock is squeezed or partially melted
catastrophism the idea the geologic events occur suddenly
Cenozoic era era dominated by mammals
anaerobic living without oxygen
Precambrian time period when there was no oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere
Paleozoic era era when plants and animals first lived on land
ozone forms a layer in the atmosphere that shields solar radiation
extinct when all of the members of the species die
sedimentary rock rock formed when sediment is lithified
uniformitarianism the idea that geological processes that occur today also occurred in the past
mass extinction when a large number of a species die in a short period of time
geologic time scale organizes the history of life on Earth plate tectonics
igneous rock rock formed when lava or magma cools
Pangaea a large landmass that contained all the present day continents
superposition principle that states younger rocks are on top of older rocks
fossil the solidified remains or imprints of once living organisms
absolute dating dating method that determines a fossil or events exact age
relative dating dating method that compares the age of one specimen or event to another
erosion when sediment is carried away, usually by wind or water
weathering the gradual breakdown of rock. usually by wind or water