The principle of faunal successionalso known as the law of faunal successionis based on the observation that sedimentary rock strata contain fossilized flora and faunaand that these fossils succeed each other vertically in a specific, reliable order that can be identified over wide horizontal distances. A fossilized Neanderthal bone will never be found in the same stratum as a fossilized Megalosaurusfor example, because neanderthals and megalosaurs lived during different geological periodsseparated by many millions of years. This allows for strata to be identified and dated by the fossils found within.
Only a partial listing of physical characteristics is necessary to indicate the breadth of approach in this area.
Correlation is, as mentioned earlier, the technique of piecing together the informational content of separated outcrops. When information derived from two outcrops is integratedthe time interval they represent is probably greater than that of each alone. This optimistic hope, however, must be tempered by the realization that much of the Precambrian record—older than million years—is missing.
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