Geology 105 - Paleontology
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How to Use the Critter Chart

Fill out a Critter Chart for every group of fossils we study. I will tell you in the reading guide which groups to make a chart for. For example, you will fill out one chart for corals, but 3 separate charts for each of the major fossil groups of molluscs (gatropods, cephalopods, bivalves).

Group: Put the name of the group (e.g., sponges, corals, trilobites, etc.)

Taxonomy: Put useful taxonomic information here. For example, for some groups you may want to put the phylum name (if it is not the name of the group), or list some lower taxonomy within the group (as for the corals). If you're not sure what to do with this, bring it to class and I'll help you.

Feeding: Put in one of the feeding patterns from this handout.

Life Habit: Choose a life habit from this handout.

Colonial or solitary: choose one.

Skeletal Material: choose one from the handout from the first lab.

Environmental Preferences: Does this organism like clear water? rocky substrates? shallow water? warm water? low salinities?

Living relatives: especially important for extinct groups.

Geologic Range: Note the total range of the group, as well as the ranges of important subgroups. Also note if there have been changes in the importance of the group over geologic time.

Important Genera: Note genera important for dating, or in the evolution of the group, or that are very typical of the group. If you have problems here. see me in lab.

Misc.: This is a spot for important information that doesn't fit any of the other slots.

Sketch: Draw a picture of both the soft and hard parts of the organism. If you're not good at drawing, you can paste in a xerox. If there is variablity in the group, make a sketch of each important type.