Fossils offer a view into history of life: paleontologist

Special types of fossil deposits allow us very rare clear views of what life was like hundreds of millions of years ago, says paleontologist Denis Tetreault of the earth and environmental sciences department.

He will explore some of those views in his free public presentation “Exceptional fossil preservation: important windows into the history of life,” Wednesday, February 15, at Canada South Science City.

His lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. and is part of the Science Café series, sponsored by the University’s Faculty of Science.

“It is the nature of the fossil record that most groups of organisms, whether plant or animal, have a very low probability of becoming fossilized,” Dr. Tetreault says. “Thus any study of ancient communities, or studies of the changes in these communities through time, are flawed and incomplete.”

However, in rare instances elements of a paleocommunity are preserved. Tetreault will discuss his own discovery of one of these important types of deposits here in Ontario.

The Science Café series is intended to present important science research to the general public. The next Science Café features biology professor Jan Ciborowski and is scheduled for March 21. Canada South Science City is located at 930 Marion Avenue in Windsor. For more information, phone 519-973-3667.

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