Fossils are the remains of ancient plants and animals, usually preserved in rocks. Fossils can tell us a lot about history, like what the earth was like long ago. Some fossils even show how humans have evolved. If you want to know more about these amazing things, read on.
Fact #1: There are about 2,500 known species of fossils found on every continent except Antarctica
There are many different types of fossils including petrified wood, dinosaur bones, and fossilized insects. It’s also interesting to note that fossils come in all shapes and sizes. They are important to scientists for learning about the past, including the extinction of dinosaurs. They are also essential in learning about evolution. Because of this information, scientists can learn more about how life on earth has changed over time.
First known fossils
About 2,500 known species of fossils have been found on every continent except Antarctica. That’s a lot of history and science! The first known fossil was discovered in 1628 by Robert Plot, who described it as an elephant tooth from the Tertiary Age. He later identified that it was part of a jawbone from an extinct species of shark, which he named ‘ character ‘.
In 1796, Mary Anning found the first full ichthyosaurus skeleton. She became famous for this and continued to find more fossils, including Pterodactylus, a pterosaur with a wingspan of about eight meters. Her work contributed greatly to paleontology at that time. There are so many fossils out there to learn about. Scientists are constantly finding new ones and learning more about the history of life on earth.
A type of rare fossil called coprolites (fossilized poop) can provide information about what ancient creatures ate. They can be found in ancient sedimentary rocks. The best-known one is the Burgess Shale, which contains fossils of some of the most primitive organisms that existed during the Cambrian period. Fossils are truly amazing. From poo to bones and beyond, they tell people so much about history and evolution on earth.
If you are interested in knowing more about dinosaurs, then you might enjoy the fact that dinosaur footprints have been found which shows they probably walked on two legs like humans and birds do today. This is a bit surprising since most reptiles walk around on four feet with their tails dragging behind them. Scientists believe this shows how dinosaurs evolved, changing as new species emerged onto earth through natural selection.
More and more fossils are being found which shed light on how dinosaurs evolved. Some scientists believe that the earliest dinosaur may have been walking around much like lizards do today, before developing into bipedal creatures later down the road. This is just one of many examples showing how interesting and informative ancient life can be for people who study it.
Fact #2: There’s a fossil inside of you
Literal fossils, like those left behind by ancient plants and animals, are present inside of you. Yes, that’s right! You have a fossil inside of you. It might be surprising to think about this because people see the human body as alive and always growing. However, there are organs in your body like bone marrow and blood vessels that can become fossils after death.
In 2008, scientists found a new bacterium from the Tertiary period preserved in a beaker of amber. It was named Pithovirus sibericum and it is 30,000 years old. Scientists were able to revive this virus and found that it could infect amoebas which are present today. This shows how viruses have evolved over millions of years while the rest of the world stayed mostly the same.
It’s kind of cool to think about the fact that you have a fossil inside of your body. It is also fascinating how scientists can learn more and more about life on earth, including viruses. If they can revive 30,000-year-old bacteria, who knows what else might be found in even older fossils?
Fact #3: The oldest fossil ever discovered is 3.4 billion years old
The oldest fossil ever discovered is a single-celled organism found in Australia. It was named Stromatolite and it is the earliest complex form of life on earth. Fossils like these can tell scientists about how different forms of living organisms evolved over many years. The oldest known fossils were formed around this time, though some may go back as far as four billion years. Scientists believe that the Earth came into existence around this time as well, which makes sense because they would have had to be there for life to begin forming.
Stromatolite fossils come from an ancient ancestor of modern bacteria and are found in rocks like limestone and sandstone. Though these microscopic organisms may not look impressive, they had a very important impact on life. Stromatolites are still around today, but not in the form of fossils because these died millions of years ago.
Fact #4: Some fossils can be worth a lot of money
Some dinosaur bones can sell for more than $1 million. That’s a lot of money! A fossil like this can be found in places like China, Mongolia, and the United States. Many fossils sell for high prices such as teeth from sharks or mosasaurs, which is an extinct marine lizard. People collect these types of items because they may be able to learn more about their history by studying them.
For example, a T-Rex tooth is around 70 million years old and may contain information about how these creatures evolved or what they ate. Fossils like this can be studied in many different ways to provide answers for scientists who want to learn more about people’s history on earth. Amazingly, something so small could have such an important story to tell. Fossils can be worth a lot of money, and it’s fascinating how scientists can learn about life on earth from studying them.
Fossils provide a window into the past. They tell people about what life was like millions of years ago and can help scientists understand how Earth’s climate has changed over time. There are many different types of fossils, but they all share one thing in common – the process of forming them is called fossilization. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, then exert the extra effort to research for you may just uncover more amazing and interesting facts about fossils.