Biostratigraphy, which may also be properly called pale-ontological stratigraphy, is the study of the distribution of fossils with the sedimentary rock record of Earth. In the practice of biostratigraphy, emphasis is placed on the vertical and lateral distribution of fossil taxa meaning fossil species or other groups of fossil organisms and not on the different types of rock within sedimentary strata. This distinguishes biostratigraphy from physical stratigraphy, which emphasizes changes in rock type alone. There are several kinds of biostratigraphy. Formal biostratigraphy is concerned with the delineation of biostratigraphic zones, which are bodies of rock defined by the presence of selected nominal taxa fossil species or groups whose name is attached to the biostratigraphic zone. A special kind of formal biostratigraphy is called biochronostratigraphy, which requires nominal taxa that are short-lived and thus their existence defines well a short interval of geological time.
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Disciplines and Techniques. The Timescales project within Geoscience Australia maintains and develops geological timescales and fossil biozonations. It places particular emphasis on those parts of the stratigraphic column where economic resources are important. The Timescales project team also provides biostratigraphic expertise to other Geoscience Australia projects to help with detailed age and palaeoenvironmental assessments. Biostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy that uses fossils to establish relative ages of rock and correlate successions of sedimentary rocks within and between depositional basins. A biozone is an interval of geologic strata characterised by certain fossil taxa. These key index species should be relatively abundant, short-lived taxa that are easy to recognise and as geographically widespread as possible.
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Biostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy which focuses on correlating and assigning relative ages of rock strata by using the fossil assemblages contained within them. Usually the aim is correlation, demonstrating that a particular horizon in one geological section represents the same period of time as another horizon at some other section. The fossils are useful because sediments of the same age can look completely different because of local variations in the sedimentary environment. For example, one section might have been made up of clays and marls while another has more chalky limestones , but if the fossil species recorded are similar, the two sediments are likely to have been laid down at the same time.