Fossils are an incredibly fascinating and important part of our natural world. They provide us with a window into the past, and give us insight into the origins of life on Earth. From the world’s oldest fossils to the most impressive fossil finds, there is much to learn from the fossil record. To help you explore this vast and interesting topic, here are the top 10 facts about fossils.
1. Dinosaur fossils have been found!
Ever wondered how we know so much about dinosaurs? It’s mainly because of the fossils that scientists have found!
There was a HUGE dinosaur fossil found, the biggest that has ever been discovered! It was a fossil from an Argentinosaurus dinosaur which was found in Argentina.
It was almost 34 meters big. Wow!
2. Fossils have been found everywhere.
Fossils have been found in every continent and are everywhere!
You would never imagine this but sea creature fossils have even been found on the top of Mount Everest.
3. Poo fossils exist!
It’s not just animals that fossilise you know! You can even find fossils of poo! These are called coprolites.
Scientists have even found some from Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs!
4. Paleontologists are scientists who study fossils.
Anyone can find fossils although it helps if you know what you’re looking for!
There are people who study fossils and do this as a job! They are called paleontologists.Embed from Getty Images
5. The word ‘fossil’ comes from Latin.
You might have wondered where the word fossil comes from and what does it mean?
It actually comes from the Latin word ‘fossus’ which means “having been dug up”.
6. Fossilised footprints have been found.
There have been footprints that have turned into fossils too.
The impressions fill with sediments which then fossilise.
Now we can see what our ancestors feet were like!Embed from Getty Images
7. Fossils aren’t made from bone.
Fossils can sometimes look like bone – but it’s not!
Fossils are made from rock which is shaped exactly the same as the object that was originally there.
The object will be buried under sediment. This then gets squashed and turns into sedimentary rock.
Then, water will go into the bones which will turn them into rock as it is leaving behind minerals!Embed from Getty Images
8. What is sedimentary rock?
A lot of fossils are found in sedimentary rock.
This is rock that has been formed from things like sand, mud and small pieces of rock.
9. Fossils can give scientists lots more knowledge!
Fossils can give scientists lots of information such as where the animal might have lived, how old they were, how they died and even what they ate!
10. Fossilisation is actually very rare.
We are very lucky to find the ones we have!
This is because bones often decompose quite quickly after the animal dies and so there is nothing left to fossilise.
It’s only when they are buried quickly, allowing little oxygen to get to them, that it works.
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