|In order for fossils to form, there must be a way to
preserve the dead remains of animals and plants for a time so that they
do not decay completely. The most common way that this occurs is on the
bottom of bodies of water. When an animal of plant dies and falls into
the water, the remains are sometimes covered up quickly by sediments.
The layers of sediment form a protective covering to slow the process
|Over thousands of years, the sediments around the
remains harden into rock. The dead animal or plant remains eventually
decay leaving an empty space inside the sedimentary rock. Minerals
filter down into this space and harden into rock forming a shape just
like the animal or plant. This process is called fossilization. The
mineral remains are called fossils.
|Sometimes there are no minerals that filter down into
the empty space in the rock. The space that is left is called an
imprint. Some common fossil imprints are dinosaur tracks which are
formed when the large animals left their tracks on the bottom of
shallow seas or rivers.
|There are other ways that fossils can be preserved.
Many animals have been found preserved in ice in Siberia. Other
fossils, especially Insects, are found imbedded in amber(a sticky sap
from trees that covers the insects and then hardens).
|Many people make a hobby of collecting different
fossils from around the world. Large collections and rare fossils can
be very valuable. Collecting your own fossils can be very exciting and
interesting. If you would like to start your own fossil collection,
Life Studies can help. We have a Starter Collection
of 12 different fossils labeled with time period information for $9.95.
We also have some larger, more valuable, Premium Specimens.
To see pictures and find out more information about our fossils, click
on the images below.