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Types of Fossils There are two main types of fossils: body fossils and trace fossils.

A body fossil is the physical remains of an animal. Some very small organisms, called microbacteria, leave behind microscopic particles called filaments.

To create a mold and cast fossil, the animal has to die in a place where it will be covered with dirt, or sediment, fairly quickly, like an animal that dies in the ocean and sinks to the sea floor.

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More sediment settles on the remains, and time and pressure turn the sediment surrounding the bones and teeth to stone.

Fossils are the remains of animals or plants that lived a long time ago.

When we think of fossils, the first things that come to mind are the bones of dinosaurs; but a fossil can be anything.

Trace fossils are not the remains of an animal, but something that shows how it lived or died.

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Footprints, tools, or plant matter are different types of trace fossils.In the 1940s scientists developed a better tool for determining how old fossils were by using radioactive carbon isotopes.