D Perfect Preservation

The soft "rain" of fine sediment that settles on lake and seabeds can create finely detailed fossils of animals like fish. This freshwater perch died over 37 million years ago, but it has been preserved with its bones, skin, and delicate fin rays intact.


Fossilized skin and fin membranes reveal the true shape of the fish

Plants may also be fossilized, particularly if they are buried in airless swamps where the waterlogged conditions stop them from decaying. This fossil fern dates from the Carboniferous Period, some 300 million years ago. Many similar Carboniferous plants were buried, compressed, and turned into the "fossil fuel" we call coal.


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