If you are interested in studying human evolution and life systems of past geological periods with the help of fossils and vestiges of prehistoric organisms, you should opt for 'paleontology', a branch of biology. Plants and animals are preserved in the earth if they get buried before decaying, thus forming fossils. Other factors leading to their formation are animal matter getting trapped in ice, or dead bodies being mummified. Certain biological conditions promote fossilization of plants or animals. All living organisms buried in earth are not fossilized. They are mostly found in river beds or ocean floors.
- A nearly 270,000,000 years old fossil egg of a prehistoric reptile, was detected in a rock in Texas.
- Scientists can tell the weight of an animal by measuring the depth of their fossilized footprints.
- Vertebrate fossils are formed from bones of the animals, while invertebrate ones are formed from plant or animal matter, which does not contain bones.
- Dinosaur fossils inform us that Gigantosaurus lived in Argentina, about 93 million years ago. Gigantosaurus weighed about 6.2 tons, and it was about 43 feet long.
- Here are some more dinosaur facts for those who love to research about dinosaurs. Dinosaur fossils were obtained from the layers of sedimentary rocks, in various parts of the world. Through these, scientists could get an idea about the bone structure of the dinosaur, and their habitat.
- British geologist Gideon Mantell, first discovered a dinosaur fossil in 1822. Information about different types of dinosaur was gathered through the ones found at different times.
- The fossil found in Haddonfield, New Jersey, in 1858, was the first nearly complete dinosaur one found; which informed the world about bipedal dinosaurs. Till then, it was believed that all dinosaurs had four feet.
- Acrocanthosaurus was the carnivorous two-footed dinosaur that lived in 'present North America', nearly 100 to 125 million years ago, and Its fossil was obtained in Oklahoma.
- Not only the information about dinosaurs, but also about other animal species, was collected from them. Scientists could study Tasmania tiger facts as they gathered information from fossils and aboriginal art. These tigers were present in Australia in large numbers, about 2000 years ago, but now they are included in the list of 'extinct animals'.
- They are also found in hardened lava from volcanic eruptions. Scientists can make duplicates of the original animals or insects by filling in the mold (shape left by the animal matter) with plaster, wax, or other suitable materials.
- Generally, the hard part of the animal, including bones, teeth, shell, is fossilized easily, because they can withstand natural destruction. Archaeologists have discovered the oldest fish fossil in Yunnan Province, China. The fish existed 530 million years ago. Scientists were able to explain the evolution of the Earth with the help of some which were discovered, belonging to the last 600 million years.
- Megalodon fossils inform us that the jaw and teeth of this huge shark were so robust, it could have gulped an entire elephant or a large white shark easily. They were discovered in Europe, India, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America. Now, this shark is included in the list of extinct animals.
Scientists can get reliable data on the earliest life on Earth by observing fossils. The fossilized object usually looks like a rock. If these had not been discovered, then several questions concerning human evolution would have still remained unanswered.