3rd Grade Science : Use fossils as evidence of environments organisms lived in

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for 3rd Grade Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Fossils As Evidence

What do fossils show about environments of long ago?

Possible Answers:

Fossils show scientists what the weather was like on the day the fossil was made.

Fossils do not show scientists anything about environments of long ago.

Fossils show scientists what the exact temperature of an environment was.

Fossils show scientists how environments have changed over time.

Correct answer:

Fossils show scientists how environments have changed over time.

Explanation:

Fossils give scientists lots of valuable information about not only the organism but the environment in which it lived. From fossils, scientists can see how an environment has changed over time. If the fossil is found on a tall hillside, but it is the remains for an aquatic animal, scientists now know the area used to be underwater. If a plant was only found in desert areas but is now found in the middle of grassland, scientists can see how that area has changed over the years.

Example Question #2 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

Gordon Hubbell and a crew of fossil hunters were digging holes in the desert of Peru in 1988. This desert is one of the driest places on Earth. It gets almost no rain. Hubbel was digging and found jawbones and more than 200 sharp teeth. He is an expert in fossilized sharks, so he recognized the teeth right away. They were shaped like triangles and came to a very sharp point. They belonged to a distant relative of the great white shark!

What did these fossils tell scientists about the environment in which they were found?

Possible Answers:

This desert area was always a desert.

This desert area used to be a freezing tundra.

This desert area used to be underwater.

This desert area used to be a tropical rainforest.

Correct answer:

This desert area used to be underwater.

Explanation:

These fossils were a fascinating find for Hubbell's team and scientists in general. Finding shark teeth in what is now a desert tells researchers that this environment has changed over the years. For sharks to live there, it would have been underwater during their time period. Scientists can now study how, when, and why the area is now a desert.

Example Question #1 : Fossils As Evidence

Antarctica is the coldest place on our planet. Temperatures can reach -120oF, and winds can be powerful. There are no plants or animals that can make their homes permanently in central Antarctica. Scientists were exploring a place called the Dry Valleys and found fossils of moss and small animals. They were discovered in ancient lakebeds. When researchers found the age of the fossils, they were about 14.1 million years old. Scientists realized that shrubs grew around the lakes, and insects lived there too. For insects and plants to survive this area, it had to be warmer and more welcoming to life than it is today.

Which two sentences are evidence that there was a change in the environment over time?

Possible Answers:

They were discovered in ancient lakebeds. When researchers found the age of the fossils, they were about 14.1 million years old.

There are no plants or animals that can make their homes permanently in central Antarctica. Scientists were exploring a place called the Dry Valleys and found fossils of moss and small animals.

Scientists realized that shrubs grew around the lakes, and insects lived there too. For insects and plants to survive this area, it had to be warmer and more welcoming to life than it is today.

Antarctica is the coldest place on our planet. Temperatures can reach -120oF, and winds can be powerful.

Correct answer:

Scientists realized that shrubs grew around the lakes, and insects lived there too. For insects and plants to survive this area, it had to be warmer and more welcoming to life than it is today.

Explanation:

This short passage includes a lot of information and details about the fossils found in Antarctica. The passage explains that there was a change in the environment. Currently, Antarctica is freezing and not hospitable for life year-round, but there was evidence of moss and small animals that were found in fossils. This tells readers that at one point, it must have been warmer than it is today to support life. The sentences that include this evidence are, "Scientists realized that shrubs grew around the lakes, and insects lived there too. For insects and plants to survive this area, it had to be warmer and more welcoming to life than it is today.".

Example Question #4 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

In the Arctic, there are large sheets of ice. Scientists have found palm branches fossilized in the ice.

This tells researchers that the environment may have changed. What might this environment have been in the past?

Possible Answers:

There was no change in the environment over time.

May have been a tropical island

May have been a forest

May have been underwater

Correct answer:

May have been a tropical island

Explanation:

Scientists or researchers study fossils to learn about the environment and any changes that may have occurred over time. In this example, a palm branch was found under a sheet of ice in the Arctic, which is not typical for what we know of the environment today. When thinking about where palm branches are usually found, scientists could see that this area used to be a tropical island. To support the plant's basic needs, it was once much warmer in this location.

Example Question #5 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

Researchers were digging in the desert when they came across a fossilized cactus leaf buried in the sand.

Environments can change over time. Some places stay the same. What might this environment have been in the past?

Possible Answers:

The environment used to be a grassland.

The environment has not changed since the fossil was formed.

The environment used to be underwater.

The environment used to be a tropical island.

Correct answer:

The environment has not changed since the fossil was formed.

Explanation:

Many environments change over time, and fossils tell researchers what those changes are. In this example, the scientists are digging in the desert and found a cactus leaf. A cactus would most likely be found in the desert, so the environment has not changed over time. If a seashell were found or an aquatic plant, researchers would know there had been a shift over the years from a wet area to very dry.

Example Question #6 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

Gordon Hubbell and a crew of fossil hunters were digging holes in the desert of Peru in 1988. This desert is one of the driest places on Earth. It gets almost no rain. Hubbel was digging and found jawbones and more than 200 sharp teeth. He is an expert in fossilized sharks, so he recognized the teeth right away. They were shaped like triangles and came to a very sharp point. They belonged to a distant relative of the great white shark!

Why is Hubbell's discovery surprising?

Possible Answers:

There is nothing surprising about Hubbell's discovery. Scientists find fossils in deserts all the time so there isn't anything special about this finding.

The crew was digging in the desert and found shark teeth. This means the desert of Peru had water with sharks living in it at some point.

None of the answer choices are correct.

The crew was digging in the desert and found shark teeth. This means that sharks had, at one point, lived on land rather than in the water.

Correct answer:

The crew was digging in the desert and found shark teeth. This means the desert of Peru had water with sharks living in it at some point.

Explanation:

These fossils were a surprising find for Hubbell's team and scientists in general. Finding shark teeth in what is now a desert tells researchers that this environment has changed over the years. For sharks to live there, it would have been underwater during their period. Scientists can now study how, when, and why the area is now a desert. What is currently a dry, hot desert was once an ocean, sea, or large body of water. This is a surprising find and development.

Example Question #7 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

Antarctica is the coldest place on our planet. Temperatures can reach -120oF, and winds can be powerful. There are no plants or animals that can make their homes permanently in central Antarctica. Scientists were exploring a place called the Dry Valleys and found fossils of moss and small animals. They were discovered in ancient lakebeds. When researchers found the age of the fossils, they were about 14.1 million years old. Scientists realized that shrubs grew around the lakes, and insects lived there too. For insects and plants to survive this area, it had to be warmer and more welcoming to life than it is today.

What did scientists discover that led them to believe Antarctica was once a very different place?

Possible Answers:

Fossils of moss

Lakebeds

Fossils of small animals

All of the answer choices are correct

None of the answer choices are correct

Correct answer:

All of the answer choices are correct

Explanation:

This short passage includes a lot of information and details about the fossils and lakebeds found in Antarctica. The passage explains that there was a change in the environment. Currently, Antarctica is freezing and not hospitable for life year-round, but there was evidence of moss and small animals that were found in fossils in ancient lakebeds. This tells readers that at one point, it must have been warmer than it is today to support life.

Example Question #8 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

High up in the Himalaya Mountains, fossils of fish and other aquatic sea animals have been found. These mountains are hundreds of miles away from the closest sea. They are snow-capped at the tip, and the land is dry and brown. The layered rocks of the Himalayas are rich with not only fossils of aquatic creatures but also fossils of coral reef remnants and marine plants.

What does this information tell researchers or scientists?

Possible Answers:

The environment has changed in this region over time.

Fish and other aquatic creatures used to live on the sides and tops of mountains.

The mountains have moved over the years from an ocean area to where they are now.

None of these answer choices are correct.

Correct answer:

The environment has changed in this region over time.

Explanation:

Scientists or researchers study fossils to learn about the environment and any changes that may have occurred over time. In this example, aquatic plants, animals, and coral reef fossils were found in the rock layers of the Himalaya Mountains, which is not typical for what we know of the environment today. When thinking about where these types of fossils are usually found, scientists could see that this area used to be underwater.

Example Question #9 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

High up in the Himalaya Mountains, fossils of fish and other aquatic sea animals have been found. These mountains are hundreds of miles away from the closest sea. They are snow-capped at the tip, and the land is dry and brown. The layered rocks of the Himalayas are rich with not only fossils of aquatic creatures but also fossils of coral reef remnants and marine plants.

Where would these types of fossils typically be found?

Possible Answers:

Oceans

Rainforests

Tundras

Deserts

Correct answer:

Oceans

Explanation:

Scientists or researchers study fossils to learn about the environment and any changes that may have occurred over time. Typically fossils of coral reefs, marine plants, and aquatic creatures would be found in an ocean. These fossils were found in the rock layers of the Himalaya Mountains, which shows there was a change in the environment over time.

Example Question #10 : Use Fossils As Evidence Of Environments Organisms Lived In

Researchers were digging in the desert when they came across a fossilized cactus leaf buried in the sand. This discovery proves that this environment has changed immensely over time.

Possible Answers:

False

True

Correct answer:

False

Explanation:

The statement in the question is false. If a cactus leaf was found, it means the environment was a desert at the time of the plant's death. The area is still a desert, which shows this area has not changed during the two time periods. There are other examples of areas that have changed drastically through the years, but this is not one of them.

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