When an animal or plant dies, it usually decays quickly. Dead animals are often eaten. Sometimes, though, an animal’s body sinks into thick mud. The mud contains no air so the remains don’t decay. Animals can’t disturb the remains.
Here the remains may rest for thousands or even millions of years. Over time, more mud presses down on the remains. Minerals dissolved in the mud turn the remains to stone. These remains are called fossils and they give scientists clues about what life was like on our planet.
Fun Facts About Fossils for Kids
- Without fossils, we wouldn’t know about dinosaurs.
- Some fossils are of footprints or animal burrows, rather than the animals themselves.
- Fossilized poop is called coprolites. Scientists have found coprolites from Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs that contain bits of crushed bones.
- It’s pretty unusual to find a whole fossilized animal. Scientists usually find shells, bones and teeth instead.
- Scientists have found fossils of feathered dinosaurs.
- Sometimes animal and plant remains are preserved, but they’re not turned to stone. Insects were stuck in sticky tree resin. The tree resin turned to amber over millions of years, but the insects are completely intact inside.
- Decay: rot
- Remains: dead animal or plant material
- Fossil: any animal or plant remains that has been preserved for more than 10,000 years
- Coprolite: fossilized poop
- Resin: sticky sap from trees and plants
All About Fossils Video for Kids
Here’s the best kids Fossil video you can watch right now to learn more all about Fossils:
Question: What do you call the scientists who studies fossils?
Answer: They are called Paleontologists. Paleontology is the scientific study of prehistoric life.
Question: How do you find fossils?
Answer: Paleontologists work at dig sites looking for fossils, but fossils are often found accidentally when people move or disturb rocks or soil.
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