How are dinosaur fossils formed?
AudienceChildren and families, Early years, Primary school
Learning stageEarly years, Early Stage 1, Stage 1, Stage 2
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Fossils are formed in different ways, but most are formed when a plant or animal dies in a watery environment and is buried in mud and silt. Soft tissues quickly decompose leaving the hard bones or shells behind. Over time sediment builds over the top and hardens into rock. Scientists learn about dinosaurs through the fossil evidence they have left behind which might be a fossilised bone, tooth, footprint or even poo!
- Even dinosaur poo can become fossilised and is called a coprolite. Coprolites give palaeontologists information about what the dinosaur may have eaten!
- Fossils are often compared with parts of living animals to give palaeontologists clues about what they are.
- Some of the largest fossilised dinosaur footprints were discovered in Western Australia and are measured at approximately 1.7 metres long!
- What happened to dinosaurs' skin?
- What happened to dinosaurs' bones?
- What types of fossils are commonly found?
- How do we know that some dinosaurs were in battle?
Watch this animation to understand how dinosaurs became fossils over time.