Part 1: On Earth, plate tectonics has been a dynamic process for hundreds of millions of years. Take a look at the “plate tectonics movie” on the University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology web page ( http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/tectonics.html ). Do this by clicking on “animated GIFs” for the last 750 million years. Play the movie. As time passes, the continents seem to move around. Why is this so? What is “pushing” the continents around and why? Why do the continents appear to move around over time?
Part 2: Using web pages at the University of California’s Museum of Paleontology ( http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/paleo/fossilsarchive/molecu.html ), take a look at the description of molecular fossils. After reviewing what this web page has to offer, use the resources there to answer briefly these questions. What are the four main organic compounds that form molecular fossils? What conditions are necessary for the formation and preservation of molecular fossils? What can we learn from molecular fossils?