Fossil

fossilsfossil recordfossilizedfossiliferousdinosaur bonesnanofossilrecordbody fossilsfossilisedfossilisation
A fossil (from Classical Latin fossilis; literally, "obtained by digging") is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age.wikipedia
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Petrified wood

petrified forestpetrified forestspetrified
Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, objects preserved in amber, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants.
Petrified wood (from the Latin root petro meaning "rock" or "stone"; literally "wood turned into stone") is the name given to a special type of fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation.

Permineralization

permineralizedpyritizationpyritized
There are many processes that lead to fossilization, including permineralization, casts and molds, authigenic mineralization, replacement and recrystallization, adpression, carbonization, and bioimmuration.
Permineralization is a process of fossilization in which mineral deposits form internal casts of organisms.

Dinosaur

dinosaursDinosaurianon-avian dinosaurs
Fossils vary in size from one-micrometre (1 µm) bacteria to dinosaurs and trees, many meters long and weighing many tons.
The fossil record demonstrates that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs, having evolved from earlier theropods during the Late Jurassic epoch.

Evolution

evolvedtheory of evolutionevolutionary
Paleontology is the study of fossils: their age, method of formation, and evolutionary significance.
The fossil record includes a progression from early biogenic graphite, to microbial mat fossils, to fossilised multicellular organisms.

Coprolite

coprolitescoprolithscoprolitic
Fossils may also consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as animal tracks or feces (coprolites).
A coprolite (also known as a coprolith) is fossilized feces.

Trace fossil

Ichnologytrace fossilsichnofossil
These types of fossil are called trace fossils or ichnofossils, as opposed to body fossils.
Trace fossils may consist of impressions made on or in the substrate by an organism: for example, burrows, borings (bioerosion), urolites (erosion caused by evacuation of liquid wastes), footprints and feeding marks, and root cavities.

Radiometric dating

radiometrically dateddatedradiometric
The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed scientists to quantitatively measure the absolute ages of rocks and the fossils they host.
By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.

Endocast

endocastsendocranial castbraincase
An endocast, or internal mold, is formed when sediments or minerals fill the internal cavity of an organism, such as the inside of a bivalve or snail or the hollow of a skull.
Endocasts can be artificially made for examining the properties of a hollow, inaccessible space, or they may occur naturally through fossilization.

Compression fossil

part and counterpartcompression-impression fossilcompression-impression fossils
Compression fossils, such as those of fossil ferns, are the result of chemical reduction of the complex organic molecules composing the organism's tissues.
A compression fossil is a fossil preserved in sedimentary rock that has undergone physical compression.

Bivalvia

bivalvebivalvesbivalve molluscs
An endocast, or internal mold, is formed when sediments or minerals fill the internal cavity of an organism, such as the inside of a bivalve or snail or the hollow of a skull.
Bivalves appear in the fossil record first in the early Cambrian more than 500 million years ago.

Biosignature

biosignaturesbiomarkerssigns of life
Some fossils are biochemical and are called chemofossils or biosignatures.
In addition, the structure of an organism can be preserved as a fossil and we know that some fossils on Earth are as old as 3.5 billion years.

Carbonaceous film (paleontology)

carbon filmcarbonaceous film
Often what remains is a carbonaceous film known as a phytoleim, in which case the fossil is known as a compression.
A carbonaceous film or carbon film is an organism outline of a fossil.

List of index fossils

index fossilindex fossilszone fossils
Such index fossils must be distinctive, be globally distributed and occupy a short time range to be useful.
Index fossils (also known as guide fossils or indicator fossils) are fossils used to define and identify geologic periods (or faunal stages).

Ordovician

Ordovician PeriodMiddle OrdovicianLate Ordovician
Bioimmuration is known in the fossil record from the Ordovician to the Recent.
Lapworth recognized that the fossil fauna in the disputed strata were different from those of either the Cambrian or the Silurian systems, and placed them in a system of their own.

Diagenesis

diageneticdiageneticallylithified
This is a form of diagenesis.
Grains of sediment, rock fragments and fossils can be replaced by other minerals during diagenesis.

Lagerstätte

lagerstättenlagerstattenKonzentrat-Lagerstätte
Fossil sites with exceptional preservation—sometimes including preserved soft tissues—are known as Lagerstätten - German for "storage places".
A Lagerstätte (, from Lager 'storage, lair' Stätte 'place'; plural Lagerstätten) is a sedimentary deposit that exhibits extraordinary fossils with exceptional preservation—sometimes including preserved soft tissues.

Burgess Shale

Burgess Shale Formation508 million years agoBurgess
Worldwide, some of the best examples of near-perfect fossilization are the Cambrian Maotianshan shales and Burgess Shale, the Devonian Hunsrück Slates, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone, and the Carboniferous Mazon Creek localities.
The Burgess Shale is a fossil-bearing deposit exposed in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, Canada.

Solnhofen Limestone

Solnhofen PlattenkalkSolnhofen FormationSolnhofen
Worldwide, some of the best examples of near-perfect fossilization are the Cambrian Maotianshan shales and Burgess Shale, the Devonian Hunsrück Slates, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone, and the Carboniferous Mazon Creek localities.
The Solnhofen Plattenkalk, or Solnhofen Limestone, geologically known as the Altmühltal Formation, is a Jurassic Konservat-Lagerstätte that preserves a rare assemblage of fossilized organisms, including highly detailed imprints of soft bodied organisms such as sea jellies.

Maotianshan Shales

Chengjiang biotaMaotianshan ShaleChengjiang fauna
Worldwide, some of the best examples of near-perfect fossilization are the Cambrian Maotianshan shales and Burgess Shale, the Devonian Hunsrück Slates, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone, and the Carboniferous Mazon Creek localities.
The most famous assemblage of organisms are referred to as the Chengjiang biota for the multiple scattered fossil sites in Chengjiang.

Devonian

Late DevonianEarly DevonianMiddle Devonian
Worldwide, some of the best examples of near-perfect fossilization are the Cambrian Maotianshan shales and Burgess Shale, the Devonian Hunsrück Slates, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone, and the Carboniferous Mazon Creek localities. However, a slightly older study based on eight taxa ranging in time from the Devonian to the Jurassic found that reasonably well-preserved fibrils that probably represent collagen were preserved in all these fossils and that the quality of preservation depended mostly on the arrangement of the collagen fibers, with tight packing favoring good preservation.
The Devonian has also erroneously been characterised as a "greenhouse age", due to sampling bias: most of the early Devonian-age discoveries came from the strata of western Europe and eastern North America, which at the time straddled the Equator as part of the supercontinent of Euramerica where fossil signatures of widespread reefs indicate tropical climates that were warm and moderately humid but in fact the climate in the Devonian differed greatly during its epochs and between geographic regions.

Genus

generageneric namegeneric
One genus of stromatolite very common in the geologic record is Collenia.
A genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology.

Hunsrück Slate

Hunsrück SlatesHunsrück Slate FormationHunsrückschiefer
Worldwide, some of the best examples of near-perfect fossilization are the Cambrian Maotianshan shales and Burgess Shale, the Devonian Hunsrück Slates, the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone, and the Carboniferous Mazon Creek localities.
It is a lagerstätte famous for exceptional preservation of a highly diverse fossil fauna assemblage.

Feces

faecesdungexcrement
Fossils may also consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as animal tracks or feces (coprolites).
A coprolite is fossilized feces and is classified as a trace fossil.

Mollusca

molluskmolluscmolluscs
It is replete with the mollusks, the vertebrates, the echinoderms, the brachiopods and some groups of arthropods.
However, the evolutionary history both of molluscs' emergence from the ancestral Lophotrochozoa and of their diversification into the well-known living and fossil forms are still subjects of vigorous debate among scientists.

DNA

deoxyribonucleic aciddouble-stranded DNAdsDNA
Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, objects preserved in amber, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants.
These sequences are usually just molecular fossils, although they can occasionally serve as raw genetic material for the creation of new genes through the process of gene duplication and divergence.