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15 Incredible Fun Fossil Facts

These Fossil Facts will rock your world!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  August 5th 2022

These fossil facts will completely ROCK your world. Who’d of thought that pieces of rock could teach us so much about the world we live in. From the beginning of time, nature has left clues to how things work, and it’s only in the last few hundred years the human race has learnt to decipher them. Are you a budding paleontologist? If so you’ll find this list of fossil facts more interesting than a trip to the National History Museum. Am I right? Ammonite, more like!

1. People Who Study Fossils Are Called Paleontologists!

But anyone can find fossils if you know what to look for. Fossils can be found anywhere. They've even found the remains of fossiled sea creatures at the top of Mount Everest!

2. Fossils Aren’t Really Made From Bone.

Despite there being lots of dinosaur skeletons in Museums, fossils aren't really made of bone! Fossls are made when an object is buried under sediment (like mud or sand). This sediment is compressed over time, forming sedimentary rock. Water will fill the gaps left behind by the object after it rots away, slowly depositing minerals that harden to become a different composition of rock from the surrounding sedemntary rock! This is a fossil!

3. Fossils Are Very Useful To Scientists

Fossils give scientists lots of information about how the world was before humans existed. Without fossils we wouldn't know about dinosaurs, ancient plants and giant mammals that have long since become extinct. Fossils tell us where things lived, what they ate, and even how they died!

4. Giant Humans Didn't Use To Roam The Earth!

Robert Plot (known to his academic buddies as the Learned Dr Plot) found the first recorded Dinosaur fossil in 1677. He had no idea what it was, assuming it to be the bone of a giant human! It wasn’t until years later that a scientist realised it was the bone of a dinosaur!

5. Not Everything Becomes A Fossil!

The process that forms a fossil is very rare. A sequence of events must occur in order for it too happen. Often bones and the like, decompose before there is time for a fossil to form. That's one of the reasons why it's only recently we've discovered that some dinosaurs had feathered bodies like birds. Feathers rot faster than bones so fossilised evidence for their existence is harder to find!

6. Palaeontologists Found a Fossilised Fight!

Millions of years ago, a carniverous velociraptor dinosaur attacked its prey, a protoceratops. The velociraptor clawed into the protoceratops’ neck but the proteceratops fought back, clamping the predator’s arm in its powerful jaws… Maybe if they hadn’t been fighting they would have seen the landslide which covered and killed them both, locked in a battle that would last for eternity!

7. Sue, the T Rex, is Massive!

Sue is largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil ever to be discovered. She’s 45 feet long and 13 feet too. When she was found in 1990, after a brief argument about who owned her fossil, she was named Sue after the paleontologist who found her. She sold in 1997 for $8.3 Million.

8. There’s A Nodosaur Fossil That’s So Lifelike…

There’s a Nodosaur fossil that’s so life-like it gave some Canadian Miners a real shock! Imagine stumbling across this beast in a dark cave! The Nodosaur seems to have died in a muddy cave, destined to become to become one of the best-preserved fossils ever - not just of its skeleton lasting forever, but also fossilised remains of its scales, eyes and even the contents of its stomach!

9. Poo Fossils Are Very Interesting And Definitely Not Gross!

American, Karen Chin is the world’s most famous palaeontologist specialising in the fascinating field of coprolites! A coprolite is a fancy science word for fossilised poo! She’s published work about king-sized theropod coprolites and even an article about the different types of undigested food found in Tyrannosaur poo!

What a science legend!

10. Sometimes Creepy Crawlies Are Preserved In Amber!

Amber is a rock formed from tree sap. When a tree is wounded it might leak sap. This sticky, gooey sap can trap insects and the like, and can lead to them being preserved for millions of years!

11. There’s A Fossil Of A Snacking Squid!

A fossil dating from the Jurassic period has been described by scientists as “Incredible” and by Bean Fact Writers as “Totally sick and blamtastic!” The fossil appears to be of a belemnite, a squid-like creature halfway through snacking on an early ancestor of the crab! What makes the belemnite fossil EVEN more interesting is the shark bite marks on its side, indicating that while the squid was eating the crab, the belemnite itself was fatally wounded in a shark attack!

12. Fossilised Brains Are So Rare!

Brains are soft and squidgy and don’t last long enough after death to make a fossil. In fact, the chance of finding a fossilised brain is less than one in a million. But - you guessed it - scientists have mananged it! The fossilised brain they found was from a horseshoe crab and is believed to be around 310 Million years old!

13. Fossils Show Us The Cool Creatures That Used To Roam The Earth!

Fossils Show Us The Creatures That Used To Roam The Earth but it’s not just dinosaurs (although they are normally the coolest ones.) For example, the fossilised remnants of a 24 ton giant hornless rhino have been found. That’s nearly 12 TIMES heavier than a present day rhino!

14. Mary Mantell Rocked The Scientific World!

Mary Mantell discovered the first Iguandon in Sussex. Amateur paleontologist, Mary Mantell found one of the most exciting fossils ever when she noticed some strange sparkling rocks that looked like teeth! It was a discovery that triggered a fascination with dinosaurs to this day!

15. You Can Find Fossils Too!

You can look for fossils too. Some fossils can be very valuable (remember Sue?) and you might even do a Mary Mantell and discover a new type of creature! Here's some of the best places to look for fossils in the UK: Abereiddy Bay, Bracklesham Bay, Charmouth, Herne Bay, Lyme Regis, Redcar and Walton-on-the-Naze. Happy hunting!