Fossils Facts for Kids – 5 Fascinating Facts about Fossils

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Fossils are our time machines to learn about the past. Let’s discover five fascinating fossils facts for kids.

Fossils Facts for Kids Fact Number 1: Fossils Are The Remains of Plants and Animals

Fossils are the remains or traces of plants and animals that lived long ago. Fossils tell us a lot of information about what life was like millions of years ago.

Most fossils are found on earth that once lay underwater and they can look like shells of plants and animals. Some fossils can also be footprints in rocks and these are known as trace fossils.

A trace fossil was found in Wales which dated back to 220 million years ago, it was a prehistoric fossilised dinosaur footprint.

Fossils Facts for Kids
Fossils Facts for Kids: Seahorse fossil in rock

Fossils Facts for Kids Fact Number 2: We Know What Dinosaurs Look Like Thanks to Fossils

Thanks to fossils we know what the dinosaurs looked like millions of years ago. Over the years scientists have found many fossils belonging to dinosaurs and have been able to create replicas of what dinosaurs may have looked liked from these fossils.

Many different parts of dinosaurs have been found throughout the years. Scientists have even found fossilised poop, which is called coprolites, belonging to a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur. 

Finding these fossils tells us where and how the dinosaurs lived. In 1677, Robert Plot found the first ever dinosaur fossil, however he did not know what it was when he discovered it. It was William Buckland that recognised it was a dinosaur fossil.

Fossils Facts for Kids Fact Number 3: Palaeontologists Study Fossils

Fossils are all around us and anyone can find one or happen to come across one while out enjoying nature. Fossils have been found in every continent and are everywhere, we just may not be able to see them.

Studying fossils is a job and people who do this are known as palaeontologists. Fossils can give scientists lots of information such as where the animal might have lived, how old they were, how they died and even what they ate, whether they were a herbivore or carnivore.

Fossils Facts for Kids LearningMole
Photography of Paleontologist

Fossils Facts for Kids Fact Number 4: Fossils Are Rare

Where did the word fossil come from? Well, the word fossil originated from the Latin word “fossus” which translates to “having been dug up”.

Fossils are actually quite rare. This is because the bones of animals often decompose quite quickly after the animal dies, leaving nothing to fossilise. Fossils can only form when animals are buried quickly and little oxygen is able to get to them.

Fossils can also be in hard to reach places so there are thousands of more fossils waiting to be discovered. Sea creature fossils were even found on the top of Mount Everest. If nobody climbed to the top, we would not know this! This also told us that Mt Everest used to be underwater and was the seafloor millions of years ago.

Fossils Facts for Kids Fact Number 5: Fossils Aren’t Bones

Fossils can sometimes look like bones but they are not. Fossils are actually made from rock which is in the exact shape as the object that was originally there.

When an animal or plant dies and is buried under layers of earth, it gets squashed and compressed and turned into sedimentary rock. The bones and shells of animals also turn into rock, giving us the original shape of the animal.

Fossils Facts for Kids LearningMole
Dinosaur fossil on rough stone formation

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about fossils as much as we loved teaching you about them. Now that you know how majestic these fossils are, you can move on to learn about dinosaurs, animals and birds like: Albertosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Herbivorous Dinosaurs, Swimming Dinosaurs, Carnivorous Dinosaurs, Flying Dinosaurs, Extinct Animal, Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, Dinosaurs Facts, Fossils, Mammoth, Octopuses, Seals, Weasels, Dolphins, Kangaroos, Reindeer, Leopards and Jaguars, Rabbits, Turtles, Nocturnal Animals and Flamingos

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