Why are there gaps in the fossil records?

First Fossils Read more from
Chapter Forming Fossils

Gaps in the fossil records—eras or evolutionary stages that are “missing” from the known collection of fossils—are most often the result of erosion. This geologic process erodes away layers of rock and embedded fossils, usually by the action of wind, water, and ice. Gaps in fossil records can also be caused by mountain uplift, which destroys fossils, and volcanic activity, which can bury fossil evidence with hot magma rock that physically changes the rock, and thus fossils.


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