Hidden life revealed inside dinosaur bones

One of the tricks you learn hunting dinosaurs in Canada is to look for orange. Dinosaur bones are dull browns, tans, and greys. But in the middle of the drab sandstones of the badlands—a dry landscape where wind and water ...

Bird-like dinosaur is oldest unearthed in North America

A team of palaeontologists from the UK and US have identified a one of a kind 150 million year old dinosaur skeleton. The specimen has been classified as a new species to science with the discovery also raising questions ...

Dinosaur bones are home to microscopic life

Bad news, Jurassic Park fans—the odds of scientists cloning a dinosaur from ancient DNA are pretty much zero. That's because DNA breaks down over time and isn't stable enough to stay intact for millions of years. And while ...

'Herd' of dinosaurs found underground at Lightning Ridge

Scientists have revealed that fossils from an underground opal mine near Lightning Ridge, outback NSW, include remains from a herd of dinosaurs, among them a new dinosaur species and the world's most complete opalized dinosaur.

The fossilization process of dinosaur remains

A study conducted between the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and the University of Zaragoza has conducted an in-depth analysis of the dinosaur fossils at La Cantalera-1, one of the Iberian sites belonging to the ...

Perfectly preserved dinosaur skin found in Korea

Paleontologists are used to finding dinosaur bones and tracks. But remnants of soft tissue, like muscles or skin, are rare and often not well preserved. A very small percentage of tracks – much less than 1% – show skin ...

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

The 210-million-year-old Smok was crushing bones like a hyena

Coprolites, or fossilized droppings, of the dinosaur-like archosaur Smok wawelski contain lots of chewed-up bone fragments. This led researchers at Uppsala University to conclude that this top predator was exploiting bones ...

page 1 from 12

Fossil

Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally "having been dug up") are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record. The study of fossils across geological time, how they were formed, and the evolutionary relationships between taxa (phylogeny) are some of the most important functions of the science of paleontology. Such a preserved specimen is called a "fossil" if it is older than some minimum age, most often the arbitrary date of 10,000 years ago. Hence, fossils range in age from the youngest at the start of the Holocene Epoch to the oldest from the Archaean Eon several billion years old. The observations that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led early geologists to recognize a geological timescale in the 19th century. The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed geologists to determine the numerical or "absolute" age of the various strata and thereby the included fossils.

Like extant organisms, fossils vary in size from microscopic, such as single bacterial cells only one micrometer in diameter, to gigantic, such as dinosaurs and trees many meters long and weighing many tons. A fossil normally preserves only a portion of the deceased organism, usually that portion that was partially mineralized during life, such as the bones and teeth of vertebrates, or the chitinous exoskeletons of invertebrates. Preservation of soft tissues is rare in the fossil record. Fossils may also consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as the footprint or feces (coprolites) of a reptile. These types of fossil are called trace fossils (or ichnofossils), as opposed to body fossils. Finally, past life leaves some markers that cannot be seen but can be detected in the form of biochemical signals; these are known as chemofossils or biomarkers.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA