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Figure 2 shows how variations in the relative proportion of individual species within assemblages can be used to characterize correlatable fossil “populations.” Ratios or percentages of in situ vs.reworked calcareous nannofossil or palynomorph species may differentiate among distinct sediment packages.Species extinctions, often referred to as “tops,” are used as horizons of correlation.

Due to that discovery, Smith was able to recognize the order that the rocks were formed.

Three of the most commonly used scales are Berggren et al., These time scales differ somewhat in the absolute ages assigned to the various fossil events (inceptions and extinctions).

In most applications, the consistent use of a single time scale is more important than the choice of scale.

Planktonic (floating) and nektonic (swimming) organisms are generally less affected by local environmental factors such as water depth, physical obstacles, or changes in substrate than are benthic species (bottom dwellers).

This characteristic makes the fossils of planktonic forms—particularly calcareous nannofossils, planktonic foraminifera, dinoflagellates, and graptolites—and nektonic organisms such as conodonts excellent regional and even worldwide time markers in marine strata.

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