What are Fossils?

Fossils (Latin fossus, meaning "having been dug up") are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.

Types of Preservation

  • An organism trapped in amber:Amber seals an organism and preserves the external structure of the organism
  • Silicification:Also known as "petrification". Silica is incorporated into partially decayed wood. In general, the cell structure of petrified wood is poorly preserved, but the presence of other minerals can produce color with the wood.
  • Phosphatization: Bones and teeth that are fossilized in lage quantities of phosphate. This is a form of preservation that produces well-preserved fossils.
  • Limstone Tomb: The casting of organisms in limestone.
  • Pyritization: An imprint of an organism which is molded in iron pyrite. This is unstable in moist air, therefor it is advised to store the specimen in very dry conditions.


Types of Fossils

  • Bones
  • Imprints: This includes footprints and an imprint of biological structure (ex. ancient fern imprint in mud).
  • Dung