The Oldest Fossil on Earth

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The Oldest Fossil on Earth

When exciting news hits the Internet, the Campfire Blog jumps into action! Did you hear that just the other day, scientists in Australia made a remarkable discovery:

“A team of Australian and British geologists have discovered fossilized, single-cell organisms that are 3.4 billion years old and that the scientists say are the oldest known fossils on earth.” – You can read the entire article at Team Claims It Has Found Oldest Fossils.

This remarkable find got the team at the Campfire Blog thinking: “Let’s launch Rock Week!”. We’ll be devoting this week’s posts to all things “rocks”. Of course, you may want to brush up on your knowledge before jumping in.

Here’s a excellent glossary of terms from our friends over at RocksforKids.com:

1. acicular / radiating needles ~ crystals that grow in fine needles
2. concretion ~ spherical mass that is separate from the rock around it, usually weathers out of host rock, grows from the inside out
3. crystals ~ minerals that form slowly have a distinctive crystal shape
4. dog-tooth ~ shaped like the canine tooth, like a dog’s tooth
5. earth’s Crust ~ the earth’s crust is made of solid, hardened rocks & minerals
6. erosion ~ the process through which mountains are broken down into boulders & sand
7. fossil ~ the remains of plants & animals that have been replaced by minerals
8. gemstones ~ rocks & minerals that have been cut & polished, used for decoration and are usually rare and
valuable
9. igneous ~ rocks made from fire & heat, liquid magma that has cooled to form rocks
10. mineral ~ non-living matter, chemically the same all the way through
11. minerals ~ all rocks are made of one or more of the 3000 known minerals
12. paleontologist ~ a scientist who studies paleontology, learning about the forms of life that existed in former
geologic periods, chiefly by studying fossils
13. rocks ~ non-living matter, made of 2 or more minerals
14. termination ~ the point at the end of a crystal
15. vitreous ~ shiny like glass, found in 70% of minerals, glassy

For more information on rocks, check out the entire list at Identification of Minerals. Thanks again to RocksforKids!

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