Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. All fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in rock formations and sedimentary layers is known as the fossil record. Fossils have been studied for hundreds of years, and have been used to understand the existence and progression of organic evolution on our plane.
Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations. The study of evolutionary biology began in the mid-nineteenth century, when research into the fossil record and the diversity of living organisms convinced most scientists that species changed over time.
Observations that certain fossils were associated with certain rock layers, or strata, led 19th century geologists to develop a geological timescale that showed the progression of biological and geological changes that have occurred over our planet’s history. With the development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century, geologists could then determine the actual ages of the various strata and the fossils they contain. Since then, geologists have been able to continue to refine our understanding of our planet’s amazing history.
The Limper Geology Museum is home to an extensive collection of fossils from all over the world, including many of the world-famous fossils from the bedrock of Southwestern Ohio.