Fossils and Fossil Collecting

Fossils are the remains or other evidence of the past existence of a prehistoric plant or animal.

How Were Fossils Formed

Fossils can be created in many ways. Sometimes all or part of a plant or animal will be preserved by mummification, freezing or immersion in a material that prevents decay such as tar or amber.

Many of the older fossils are formed by a process called permineralization. Chemicals such calcium carbonate or silica in solution, saturate porous organic material like bone and slowly replace the organic material with minerals creating a replica of original. Some fossils are only casts of the original plant or animal. Sediment covers the animal and hardens. The original creature decays leaving it's impression preserved in the sediment. Other fossils take the form of traces of life such as foot prints, burrows and fossilized feces known as copralites.

Crinoid Stem- inset is an enlargement of a portion of the stem.
Shoreline of Ottawa River Ottawa, Ontario Canada - 1984

Shoreline of Ottawa River Ottawa, Ontario Canada - 1984

Brachiopod
Shoreline of Ottawa River Ottawa, Ontario Canada - 1984

Brachiopod

Trilobite cast
Shoreline of Ottawa River Ottawa, Ontario Canada - 1984

HOME Site Index