Fossil evidence

Searching for fossils in older rocks is hard work - we might find a few stromatolites or, if we're incredibly lucky, an Ediacaran fossil. But in rocks less than 545 million years old, it's so much easier. In these 'young' rocks we can find fossils of animals with shells.

It makes sense that hard parts of animals are more usually preserved than soft parts. Drop a doughnut into the sea and it will turn into mush fast. It is most unlikely to end up as a fossil. However, if you drop in something hard it's a different story. If you could grab back one of your first teeth from a tooth fairy and chuck that in the ocean, it would have a much better chance of being fossilised. So, for animals that

crawl and burrow through soft muds or sands, there's a far greater chance of their hard shells becoming fossils when they die than their soft parts. Shells can last for years before becoming buried in mud or sand and then preserved in a rock as a fossil.

crawl and burrow through soft muds or sands, there's a far greater chance of their hard shells becoming fossils when they die than their soft parts. Shells can last for years before becoming buried in mud or sand and then preserved in a rock as a fossil.

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