What is a 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 is known as the fossil record. These fossils are a rare occurrence but can be found all over. There are certain “Hot Spots” throughout the world, where a multitude of fossils can be found. These areas have allowed a very unique look at our planets preserved history. Some of the more notable fossil bed areas are in Europe, China, Russia, Africa, and the U.S.

Sand Dollar- Pygurus marmonti from Madagascar. It's been highly polished to bring out the surface detail and dates back to the Late Jurassic period, approximately 150 million years ago. More
Otodus Shark- Otodus is an extinct genus of mackerel shark which lived during the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, approximately 60 to 45 million years ago. The name Otodus comes from Greek ὠτ (oûs "ear") and ὀδούς, "odous (tooth)", or "ear-shaped tooth".  More
Fossil OysterThis is a Cretaceous aged fossil oyster of the species Rastellum carinatum from Dalmiapuram (Kallakkudi formation). It has wide, angled ribs that have led to it being called the ‘denture clam’.  More
Enchodus- Enchodus is an extinct genus of bony fish. It flourished during the Upper Cretaceous. Enchodus survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event and persisted at least into the Eocene.  More
Fossil Shrimp- Carpopenaeus (approx 70 myo) is an extinct genus of prawn, which existed during the Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. It contained three species.  More
Cave Bear- The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) was a species of bear that lived in Europe during the Pleistocene and became extinct about 24,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Maximum.  More
Petrified Wood- Petrified wood (from the Greek 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.  More
Iceage Bison-  Bison antiquus, sometimes called the "ancient bison", was the most common large herbivore of the North American continent for over 10,000 years, and is a direct ancestor of the living American bison. More


Stromatolites are among the world’s oldest fossils, some of which are over 3.5 billion years old. More

Trilobites are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita. More

Ammolite is an opal-like organic gemstone found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of North America.
Coprolite- A coprolite is fossilized feces. Coprolites are classified as trace fossils as opposed to body fossils, as they give evidence for the animal's behaviour (in this case, diet) rather than morphology.  More

Orthoceras are an ancient mollusk that lived more than 400 million years ago. More

Ammonites with a name coming from the Greek ram-horned God called Ammon are the most widely known fossil. More

A crinoid is a marine animal of the class Crinoidea. More

Branchiosaurus (Greek for “gill lizard”) is a genus of small, lightly built early prehistoric amphibians. More

Keichousaurus is a genus of marine reptile in the pachypleurosaur family which went extinct at the close of the Triassic (251–199.6 million years ago) in the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event. More

Ichthyosaurus is a genus of ichthyosaurs from the early Jurassic of Europe. More
Turtles (stylemys/Testudo)

Stylemys, meaning “pillar turtle,” is the first fossil genus of dry land tortoise belonging to the order Testudines discovered in the United States. More

Oreodonts are extinct Artiodactylids (even-toed mammals) most closely related to camels and pigs, with no close relatives living today.  More
Bronothere (Titanothere)

The Brontotheres or Titanotheres, are a completely extinct group of perissodactyls that had elongated skulls with shortened faces and a unique pattern of w-shaped ridges on their upper molar teeth. More
Otudus Shark

The Otodus is an extinct mackerel shark which lived during the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, approximately about 60 to 45 million years ago. More
Saber Tooth Cats

Smilodon (Saber Tooth Cats) often called a saber-toothed cat or incorrectly a saber-toothed tiger, is an extinct genus of machairodonts. More
Megalodon Shark

Megalodon was an ancient shark that may have been 40 feet (12 m) long or even more. More
Woolly Mammoth - Mastadon

The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), also called the tundra mammoth, was a species of mammoth. More

Mastodons were large, proboscidean mammal species of the extinct genus Mammut that inhabited North and Central America... More