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A Fossils Formidable Years

Oct 9, 2007
Ever wonder exactly what a fossil is or where they came from? Fossils are actually the remains of plants or animals that lived millions of years ago. While that is what they are, fossils still to this day serve a very important purpose. They are able to provide some very important information about what life was like millions of years ago. A YouTube video blog from the past, you might say. Only not so annoying.

A fossil is a long time in the making. Millions of years actually. A very gradual process. It all begins when a creature dies, or a plant drops into some sediment. Usually, this sediment is at the bottom of a lake, river or stream. Sediment is made of mud and sand. Over time, with the pressure of the water, the sediment eventually turns into rock. The water provides not only pressure, but minerals also. Those minerals seep their way into the remains of the creature or plant and begin to dissolve. As they dissolve, the crystallize, and begin the transformation from skeleton to fossil. Depending on the types of minerals in the water, the fossil can form in two separate ways. Some minerals completely dissolve, and leave an empty space as a fossil. Kind of like carving a shape into a rock by removing portions of the rock. Some minerals actually harden though, and take over the space left by the dissolved remains of the creature. Other items to turn up in fossils, include eggs, dinosaur droppings, and footprints left in the some mud by many forms of creatures. Even trails formed by worms and other burrowing insects through soft mud has survived through the centuries to become fossils. Just imagine the kinds of things everyone of us can do to the planet that may one day turn up as fossils for future archaeologists.

You may wonder how it is that you find so many fossils on land when the majority of them were formed under the water. Well, as the earth continues to reshape itself, lots of things get pushed around. Plates withing the earth shift, volcanoes explode, and typhoons and tsunamis move massive amounts of water and land. Over time many things that were buried under water, are move by the natural forces of the planet to somewhere else. Like your own backyard for example. So, keep your eyes open, you never know what you may find.
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