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Explain the importance of fossils in deciding evolutionary relationships.

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Fossils are the remains of the organism that once existed on earth. They represent the ancestors of the plants and animals that are alive today. They provide evidences of evolution by revealing the characteristics of the past organisms and the changes that have occurred in these organisms to give rise to the present organisms. Let us explain the importance of fossils in deciding evolutionary history with the help of the following example. Around 100 million years ago, some invertebrates died and were buried in the soil in that area. More sediment accumulated on top of it turning it into sedimentary rock. At the same place, millions of years later, some dinosaurs died and their bodies were buried on top of the sedimentary rock. The mud containing dinosaurs also turned into a rock. Then, millions of years later, some horse-like creatures died in that area and got fossilized in rocks above the dinosaur fossils. Sometime later, due to soil erosion or floods in that area, the rocks containing horselike fossils are exposed. If that area is excavated deeper, then the dinosaur and invertebrates fossils can also be found. Thus, by digging that area, scientists can easily predict that horse-like animals evolved later than the dinosaurs and the invertebrates. Thus, the above example suggests that the fossils found closer to the surface of the earth are more recent ones than the fossils present in deeper layers.

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