FAQs

1. What are fossils?

Fossils are the remains of once-living organisms that have turned into rock and stone over time. They could have originally been a bone, fungi, bacteria or a leaf, or maybe just an imprint from the organism while it was alive. Normally, living organisms decompose and become fossil fuels turning into gas, oil and charcoal. During the process of fossilisation, the organism is buried by earth and water flows down and penetrates the hard matter such as bone or shell. Water is absorbed into the surrounding soil and the mineral within the organism takes on new minerals and turns to a fossil.

 

2. Why are fossils important?

Because fossils are found in sedimentary rock that has accumulated over millions of years, fossils can be found in different layers each representing another period of time in history. This tells us which animals or organisms existed before the time that humans existed.

 

3. What is a Palaeontologist?

A Palaeontologist studies life's history on earth and uses fossils and soil to do this.

 

4. What is the difference between a Palaeontologist, a Geologist and an Archaeologist?

A Palaeontologist uses fossils to understand how the earth functioned and interacted with people and other organisms in the past. The findings can help us to understand how climate change affects evolution and in turn a Palaeontologist can make educated guesses and predictions when climate change might occur again in the future.

A Geologist studies the earth, landslides, floods and earthquakes. A Geologist will be able to locate, access and extract minerals containing important metals.

Archaeologists dig and excavate artifacts and fossils. They dig through layers of soil to understand how and why these layers were built up over the years.

 

5. Can fossils be found anywhere?

Yes. Fossils can be found practically everywhere. While there are areas such as the mountains and sea sides where fossil finds are more common, you can actually find them even where you live. Often fossils are found during building construction projects.

6. What is the difference between minerals and crystals?

Minerals are inorganic naturally occurring that have crystaline structures. Minerals can form crystals.