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FINDING FOSSILS

What Are Fossils?
Where Are Fossils?
Where to Look for Fossils
How to Look for Fossils
Discover What You Have

Dinosaur Dig


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What Are Fossils?

Fossils are the remains or traces of ancient life. Fossils can be mineralized bones, teeth, shells, wood, or actual unaltered material from an organism, like frozen mammoth flesh, bones and fur. Eggs, nests, footprints, leaf impressions, burrows, and feces are examples of trace fossils. One thing all fossils have in common, they are OLD, at least 10,000 years old.

Fossilized invertebrates in museum exhibit
Cretaceous fossils of marine invertebrates on exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum


Fossils in museum collection
Fossils are identified, catalogued, and stored safely for research at the museum.


Q: Where's the best place to find a fossil?
A: In a museum. Museums have fossils on exhibit for the public to see, and in their collections for scientists to use. Read on to discover how to find fossils in the field.

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