Lifeformsfossils

Various life-forms are used by paleoclimatologists to reconstruct the Earth's climate changes through time. They include fossil evidence, forams (foraminifera), pack rat middens, and insects. Fossils are important because they provide a conclusive record as to what animals and other life-forms existed in a specific geographic environment during a specific period. Fossils of forams, in particular, are especially helpful because they have broad geographical ranges. Pack rat middens (crystallized pack rat urine) clue climate scientists in to a specific type of climate and have played an important role in the reconstruction of the southwestern portion of the United States. The presence of insects also provides important clues to the past environment. Based on information available on insects and the types of climates in which they live today, it is possible to reconstruct past climates when remains of insects are found in the ancient record.

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