Any preserved remains, impression, or evidence of any once-living object from a previous geological epoch is referred to as a fossil (from Classical Latin: fossilis, literally "obtained by digging"). Examples include fossilised bones, shells, exoskeletons, animal or microbe imprints in stone, amber-preserved artefacts, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA traces. The fossil record is the collection of all fossils.
The study of fossils, including their age, formation process, and evolutionary importance, is known as palaeontology. If a specimen is older than 10,000 years, it is typically regarded as a fossil. The earliest fossils date back between 4.1 billion years and 3.48 billion years. A geological timescale was recognised in the 19th century as a result of the discovery that specific fossils were linked to particular rock strata.

Fossils

by The Smithsonian Institution

Fossils

by The Smithsonian Institution

Any preserved remains, impression, or evidence of any once-living object from a previous geological epoch is referred to as a fossil (from Classical Latin: fossilis, literally "obtained by digging"). Examples include fossilised bones, shells, exoskeletons, animal or microbe imprints in stone, amber-preserved artefacts, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA traces. The fossil record is the collection of all fossils.
The study of fossils, including their age, formation process, and evolutionary importance, is known as palaeontology. If a specimen is older than 10,000 years, it is typically regarded as a fossil. The earliest fossils date back between 4.1 billion years and 3.48 billion years. A geological timescale was recognised in the 19th century as a result of the discovery that specific fossils were linked to particular rock strata.

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