index fossil

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  • noun

Synonyms for index fossil

a fossil known to have lived in a particular geologic age that can be used to date the rock layer in which it is found


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References in periodicals archive ?
But Ashley's tiny index fossil had even more secrets to reveal.
Ammonites are excellent index fossils, meaning it is often possible to link the rock layer in which a particular species is found to specific geological time periods.
The fossil bones belong to ancestors of our modern baleen whales and their age was determined using so-called co-occurring index fossils.
Because these fossils -- known as index fossils -- are widely distributed around the planet but limited in the time span in which they were laid down, their discovery provides an accurate method of dating other fossils around them.