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                                                Fossils for Kids

Fossils can be defined as the preserved remains of plants or animals that are at least 10,000 years old. Palaeontology is the branch of science in which fossils are studied and the person who studies them is known as a paleontologist. It is basically studying the life forms that existed in former geological period. The term fossil has been derived from the Latin word fossilis that means ‘dug up’. A fossil is formed when an animal is buried quickly after its death and the remains get covered by more and more sediments over time. The body parts like bones and teeth do not rot and are converted into fossils.

Types of fossils: –

There are two main types of fossils Body fossils and Trace fossils.

Body fossils are preserved body parts of an animal or plant and trace fossils are remain of any of their activities like footprints, nest, eggs, poop etc.

Quick Facts: –

  • A fossil has the same shape as the actual object but its chemical formation gets changed over time.
  • The reason why we know dinosaurs and other extinct animals is because their fossils have been found and studied.
  • Fossils help us to understand what caused the death of that particular.
  • The largest dinosaur fossil found till date is a Brachiosaurus that is 22.5 meters long and 12 meters tall. It has been found in Tanzania.
  • Most of the fossils are excavated from sedimentary rock layers. These rocks are formed from materials like sand, mud and smaller rock pieces.
  • The process in which the chemical in bones are replaced by rock-hard minerals is called permineralization.
  • The oldest known fossils are Stromatolites that are estimated to be as old as 3.5 billion years old.
  • The largest single fossil ever found is a petrified tree. It was 72 meters long.


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