What are fossils and how are they used to interpret Earth's history?
Fossils are essentially plant and animal matter that have been
replaced with stone over time, leaving a solid stone that appears
like the original plant or animal matter.
Fossilized leaves, petrified wood, and small oceanic creatures are
Fossilized bone is the most common animal remains with most other
parts of the animal carcass decaying very quickly. But, they are
somewhat rarer than the leaves & small marine animals.
Keep in mind that multi-million year old fossils are extremely
fragile and should only be handled by experts.
Fossils can often be dated by determining the age of the soils
Many species of animals have come and vanished on earth over the
centuries and millenia. And the animal species, including man, that
have survived, have changed over time.
The fossils provide a record of the species that have existed in
the past, as well as providing additional support for Darwin's
theory of evolution by demonstrating changes to various species
A few species including Mammoths have been found locked in ice and
have been preserved virtually intact for thousands of years as
frozen specimens, finds that can be extremely exciting.