Students will learn about the half-billion-year history of vertebrates as deduced from the fossil record. The topic reviews the major patterns of vertebrate evolution and processes that have shaped them, particularly in Australia. It also includes a one-week field trip (in the mid-semester break) where students will get on site experience in fossil excavation, sieving, logging a geological section, dating methods and field trip logistics.
This topic aims to develop an understanding of the concepts and methods used by palaeontologists to reconstruct the history of life on earth and in the process provide students with an overview of the evolution and radiation of the Australian vertebrate fauna.
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