The Properties of Fossils

Why does one animal or plant become fossilized, but millions of others do not?

82 Responses

  1. Bodi says:

    I think that it depends on the area and the conditions that make a single plant or animal are in for fossilization to work. The other thing that I think happens is just pure luck and coincidence that that single thing is there and fossilization happens to them.

  2. Payton says:

    Well I think they are fossils because they are more… not like better but that but I don’t really know the word but it start with a V I think. But anyways because they are buried to the ground maybe? I’m not really sure. Like they are into the ground into on piece so you know what it is and how it is and maybe sometimes it can tell you what happens and it could be something from the past we never knew.

    • Kenyon Burris says:

      what do you mean by more? good details about how they are farther underground i didn’t think about that.

      • Payton says:

        I mean like when I said “more” I did’t mean like there better than some other things if you know what I mean. Their just like hidden. Not that many people have stuff from past like so it’s like that ya know?

  3. Kaydon says:

    When I think of fossils, right away I think of dinosaurs. The dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago. I think that some plants and animals become fossilized and some don’t is because a lot of the time is because this plant or animal is rare and it has more significance than lets say a common dog. They become fossilized because they have something about them that is rare, unknown, or something that draws our attention. Like the dinosaurs one of the reasons we fossilize them is to learn more about them because we didn’t know much about them.

    • will c. says:

      well….. not really, at that time there wasn’t any humans so we didn’t fossilize them. also the reason some animals become fossils and some don’t is because of where they die.

    • Kaydon says:

      Fossilization is rare in a lot of cases because organisms don’t have the right conditions in order to be fossilized so more often than not animals aren’t fossilized. Organisms need certain conditions in order to become fossilized, like no oxygen. Also fossilization on land is very uncommon because the land is always is being eroded so thats why a lot of animals aren’t fossilized.

      • David says:

        I agree that the material of the organism affects the outcome in fossilization, and I also know that environmental factors do too. But do you think the elevation of where the organism dies, affects the chances of it becoming fossilized?

  4. Isaac says:

    A reason that one animal or plant might become fossilized while millions of others do not could be that one animal or piece of plant might stay completely still under pressure, stay in one piece, stay around the same temperature(not freeze, melt, or get wet), and doesn’t change state or form while going through fossilization.

  5. Anna says:

    I don’t know much about fossils or fossilization but I think that some don’t get fossilized because they don’t get enough pressure or minerals. Or maybe they are to weak and soft so they fall apart when they have pressure on them.

    • Anna says:

      To add on to my old post now that I have more information on fossils and fossilization… I now know that not all organisms fossilize because many organisms don’t have hard tissue, not only does the body structure matter but the climate does too. If the climate is super rainy and the sediments keep getting washed away (or eroded) there wouldn’t be enough sediment to compact on top of the organism. Or if there isn’t enough sediment on top of the organism to apply enough pressure to preserve the hard tissue long enough to become a fossil.

    • olivia says:

      They could also decompose and not leave a fossil.

  6. Lizzie says:

    Some animals don’t get fossilized because they either get dug up and eaten or they are decomposed quickly meaning they don’t have the time to get fossilized. But animals/ plants that do get fossilized are covered with a layer of mud protecting them from getting dug up and eaten or getting decompose quickly.

    • Mikey says:

      I think that most of the animals that get fossilized are in the perfect spot which lets them turn to a fossil. what do you think would happen if an animal falls into a fine mud, and how long will it take? What spot would be the best spot for a fossil?

      • Anna says:

        I like how you ask questions. Although I am wondering what you think the perfect condition to get fossilized is. Personally, I think that if an organism falls into a fine mud, the mud would harden eventually, making the organism become a fossil.

  7. Mikey says:

    Say if a animal or plant just dies it won’t fossilize in a min it takes hundreds of years to have an animal to fossilize. when dinosaurs died they were buried by dirt and they stared go though changes that keep the bone from turing to soil which is fossilize.

  8. samantha rudnick says:

    i think that animals become fossilized because when they die there muscle and and fur decompose. after everything is decomposed witch takes many of years the bones normally lay under ground witch then if they are under grown dirt and sand and moisture all lay on top of the bones and since they have been there for so years the bones are starting to rot and get the weird color and thats how they are fossilized because really old thing are fossils

  9. willl.c says:

    because if it’s muddy then it eventually hardens and if it isn’t muddy then it already did get hard and the remains just blow away

  10. george says:

    The reason that fossils get fossilized and others don’t is placement of where the animal dies. For example if they died in mud there going to sink and get preserved as the mud hardens the animal gets fossilized over time of course. The plants on the other hand are usually imprints left over plants I think could get preserved in tree sap but it’s uncommon.

    • Kaid H. says:

      I think those are great examples of fossilization, good job. There are also many other things that can be preserved in a number of ways. Examples include the following: Insect in amber, elephant in tar, shark in sand, mammal in mud, etc. My question to you is this, what is your favorite animal?

    • George says:

      Your kinda right George but you could’ve put different information in your’e post and I know did this earlier when you didn’t know exactly about fossils but try harder think more.

  11. hailey says:

    I think that why animals and plants become fossilized is because of the of where they are located and it should not decompose, if it does then it wont become fossilize. It takes time to fossilize. I don’t really know why others do’t fossilized, but I think it is because they like just fall apart..

    • Lizzie says:

      Hailey Great Job! 🙂
      Animals/ Plants do become fossilized based on the conditions on where they were buried (the location) , decomposition , and time. One thing that can make it so an animal doesn’t fossilize is having the animal get eaten or they have soft tissue so they decompose quickly. Why shouldn’t it decompose?

  12. Kaid H. says:

    The reason behind this is because some plants or animals happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. In some cases, an animal will become caught in tar and die there, then after some time, layers of dirt cover the animal and it decomposes, then fossilizes.

    • David says:

      I wonder if fossils can actually form in tar, or if it possesses chemicals that decompose the bone structure. I would appreciate it if you could do some research to see if fossils can form in tar. Also, do you think fossils are more likely to form in water, or on land?

    • luke says:

      Kaid i want to know how can any animal or plant get suck in the tar in the first place well plants can but animals i don’t know about that for sure i might look into that but how do you know it can.

      • luke says:

        Well i look into it and it can happen but i don’t know how animals will just walk in to the tar but they can be fossilized in tar which is weird.

    • Josh says:

      Kaid I like how you included animals dying in tar but when you said that the animal decomposed in under dirt how is an animal supposed to fossilize if it was decomposed ya goof?

  13. Cameron Brown says:

    Most of the plants and animals are mostly fossilized because when the animals die their skeletons do not disappear they just get coved with sand and plants grow above them.

  14. priscilla says:

    Maybe one plant or animal becomes fossilized as opposed to millions of other kinds because the bone composition or structure is different. Maybe the species has been extinct for a longer amount of time or something.

    • Priscilla says:

      Whether organisms become fossilized or not actually depends mainly on where the location is or how rapidly the dead organism decomposes. Usually animals or plants with hard tissue are more likely to become fossilized rather then soft-bodied animals because they decompose slowly. It also depends on where the organism would fossilize because if it died by a river delta it could be deposited somewhere else or be buried in the sediment. But if it died on land it would be exposed to a lot of oxygen because it wouldn’t be buried as fast, that would cause it to decompose more quickly.

      • olivia says:

        I agree that the location greatly impacts the chances of an organism becoming a fossil. So does their exposure to oxygen, which will impact the rate of decomposition. So organisms can be fossilized really anywhere as long as they are not exposed to oxygen and are under layers of sediment.

  15. natalie says:

    some plants and animals got fossilized but many others didn’t mostly because of where they died, so say a t-rex died but it died in a hot and not humid region it would not fossilize as well or at all like a t-rex that died in a humid and regular temp region.

  16. Mya D. says:

    i think it just depends on how long the animal was dead for it to fossilize.

  17. Jayson Berg says:

    Fossils are body parts of Animals from ancient times.

  18. David says:

    For an animal to be fossilized, they have to be under the right conditions. If animal bones are in the middle of the rainforest, chances are it will get decomposed or eroded by water, or even in a lake. However, if bones are in the desert, with little precipitation and decomposers, then it will probably be fossilized. The bones will eventually be compacted under sedimentary rocks over a very long period of time and become fossilized.

    • Kaydon says:

      I agree with you but fossilization on land is very uncommon, so maybe would it be less likely or more likely because the land is always being eroded on land.

    • luke says:

      I agree but fossilization is vary uncommon but it can happen though land gets eroded and anything living in it can become fossilized but everything else i agree with but one thing which one will be more likely to happen ones from water or ones on land thats one i want to know that because it might cause some thinking and so information to tell which one is likely to become fossilization but who knows that for sure well i don’t know so i want to see what you will say about it.

    • David says:

      I now learned that fossils are more uncommon on dry land. This is because of very little deposition. On a river bank, or flood plain, if there is a body of a dead organism, it is more likely to be buried by sediment, than on land, which increases the chances of it becoming fossilized. However, the material of the organism, and the levels of erosion also affect the chances of it becoming a fossil. I also learned that oxygen increases the levels of decomposition, which decreases fossilization.

    • Jerricho says:

      Good thoughts David but now do you think that you should make a change to add the part about a flood plain and how it could erode the fossils and how deposition would help make a fossil. Also David did you know that a fossil can be made from tar.

  19. mason says:

    I think that it has to do with where the plant or animal dies because of it needing to get buried to become fossilized. if the bones are found ad eaten by say a wolf before it is buried far enough then obviously it won’t be fossilized but like some dinosaur bones they have been buried hundreds of feet bellow the surface and those tend to be in the best conditions.

    • mason says:

      fossilization can be very rare because of it needing to have the best conditions and it can be more common because of it being in the right place and having strong bones or something else that is hard like a shell. some things such as jelly fish can be so hard to become fossilized because it has nothing hard it is just soft all around and the conditions have to be like the best conditions in the world so it has to be buried within seconds or minuets of its death.

  20. Violet says:

    Some animals and plants can become fossils,but most can’t because of the climate and how hot or cold one place was or is now like that some fossils are being found in antarctica the climate use to be warmer than it is now.

  21. Vinny says:

    Animals get fossilized because of where they died. Say that a rabbit died and right after it dies a earthquake happened and then the rabbit will go inside the earth and get compacted down and then in 100,000,000,000 years it will get pooped out as “molten rock” when a new earthquake happens.

  22. Kenyon Burris says:

    maybe it is because we haven’t aged enough maybe people from millions of centuries of go that died and maybe they are fossils now? i don’t know.but maybe are bones are different from animals and such maybe different compositions. or maybe millions of years go people and animals ect… ate different things maybe thats changing it or maybe people added chemicals to the body to make them keep theres bones together or something but i honestly think it because the aged maybe its not long enough because dinosaurs for example they died millions of years ago and they are fossils being found today.

    • hailey says:

      I like how you gave details of the fossils, but what did you mean when
      people were adding chemicals to there body to keep there bones together?
      Like how did they do that? Im still a little confused on what you said there..

  23. olivia says:

    For a fossil to for it must have the right conditions. So one kind fossil might form in one place and not in another because of the conditions. The weather can also have an impact. The fossil might be eroded to much or the conditions might not be right for it to form in the first place.

  24. Josh says:

    The remains are mummified ultra-fast so decomposers don’t have time to break down the body. For example, if a animal dies in cooling magma and some how its body dosen’t get destroyed the body is encased in rock so it can fossilize.

    • Carlito says:

      I have no idea of what you just said. And you misspelled “doesn’t”. You put dosen’t instead of doesn’t😂 . And I don’t think that the animal’s body will survive if it gets killed by magma. IT WOULD MELT. But in other words, nice. But I think that the plants and animals that get fossilized is because those were in perfect condition.

  25. Will W. says:

    Maybe one reason some animals don’t fossilize is because they decay before they can be fossilized. With plants maybe they also decayed faster than they could fossilized.

  26. Alera says:

    The reason that I think that plants or animals become fossilized is because it is rare. For example, Dinosaurs, they became extinct 65 million years ago due to a Meteorite that hit the Earth. Hunters and Trappers hunt Rare Animals to sell for money. That type of species might go extinct one day.

    • Violet says:

      I understand where you are coming from but what types of animals might go extinct one day like spiders, snakes, alligators, or crocodiles?

    • Marissa😀 says:

      I like your post but jsut for clarification, are you saying that a plant or animal can become a fossil just because it is rare? After doing this unit on fossils and learning more about them, why do you think some organisms become fossils but other organisms do not?

  27. Shai says:

    Fossils are formed by the remains of an organism being buried and preserved in a suitable environment where it does not have a chance to weather away. The closer a fossil is to the surface the more recent it has started fossilization. If an organism does not have fossil records then one possibility to reason for this is that the carcass must have decomposed before it was buried or could have been eroded by hard waters.

  28. Carlito says:

    Maybe because it is trying to give us a hidden message or something because those ones are specifically chosen to show what it was like back then. I have no idea.

  29. luke says:

    It depends on the pressure of the world and how old it is and how it got there and the location of the world and it was covered up by the earth for millions of years and you can get a really ancient one and you don’t know if you will get one just like it again so it is really rare to find one and also get a hold of it.You can find the same kind but it wont be like the same look but you can collect it for DNA and also to put in museum and more in the world.

  30. Nick says:

    When animals die i think their bones sink in down into the ground for millions of years

  31. Marissa says:

    I think that the reason some animals or plants can become fossils and millions of others cannot depends on the circumstances of the death. If the animal did in a pit of quicksand then you’re probably not going to find any fossilized remains of that particular animal. However, if the animal dies in a desert, the fossilized remains are likely to be found.

    • Karlye says:

      I can see your process of thinking and I think you had a good expectation of fossilization, however your theory isn’t fully correct. In order for fossilization to occur… it would also depend on the tissue, oxygen, temperature, climate, and the thickness of the sediment. Based on your prediction/explanation, can you please explain how the circumstance would affect fossilization based on what you know now?

    • Ayanna says:

      good way of explaining it but you could talk about soft and hard tissue.

  32. Karlye says:

    I think that it all depends on the material the plant or animal is in and how much pressure is in it… other things that may affect whether it is fossilized would be chemicals in the soil, temperature, climate and scavengers. Although I do not know a ton about fossils I do know that they form over a long period of time and that may also affect whether it is fossilized, say for instance, if there is a scavenger that eats the animal/plant right away, the animal/plant will not have and time to fossilize. My last reasoning would be whether the plant/animal decomposes… the flesh of an animal may decompose but the bones will probably remain. As for plants I do not know of many that would survive through the process of decomposition.

    • Karlye says:

      Now that I have learned more about fossils I now know other factors that contribute to fossilization. One of the main things that contribute to fossilization is the oxygen level. If there is a lot of oxygen the fossil will not form, however if there is no oxygen the fossil will form very well. Another factor that contributes to the fossilization is the kind of tissue. If the tissue is hard the material will be able to stand most conditions and fossilize, however if the tissue is soft, the material will not be able to stand the conditions and it will decompose.

      • Alera says:

        This was really good Karlye, I liked how you explained the factors. Like when you said about how if there was no oxygen, fossils would form and if there was oxygen they would Not form. But I don’t think that fossils would Not form is there was oxygen, I think that it would just be really hard to form.

  33. Mya L. says:

    An organisms chances of becoming fossilized are greater depending on the area they die in. If the organism dies in an area with little oxygen and heat and is covered in fine mud or sediment immediately after death it’s chances of fossilizing are greater than if it was on land and in the open. The reason an organism can’t be exposed to oxygen or heat after death is because these properties cause decomposition.

  34. Josh says:

    All animals have to potential to become fossilized but most do not. Conditions need to be perfect for a soft tissue creature to become fossilized, like a jellyfish. There aren’t as many jellyfish fossils as there are fish or another organism with hard tissue. Others just aren’t in the right conditions. Like if an animal just decomposes then there is nothing left to fossilize.

  35. Ayanna says:

    Because some animals may have hard tissue and some may not. If an animals body is left on the surface where it is surrounded by oxygen will rot and decompose. If the animal either dies without oxygen around it or dies and is immediately covered after death it will most likely become a fossil.

  36. Kenyon says:

    i think its because it needs to be perfect to be fossilized and it takes awhile to become a fossil it also depends on the place it died and oxygen decomposes it so if it continues to decompose it wont become a fossil and it needs to be packed in with sediment soon after death.

    • mya d says:

      what do you mean “it” needs to be perfect? I agree with you, it does need to be packed with sediment soon after its death.

  37. Jayson berg says:

    Hard shelled animals like skulls, Spines, and other bones become Fossils, they can be found in the Sedimentary Rock, Created by Deposition, And one more thing is they can be Fossilized too.

  38. mya d says:

    For an animal or plant to fossilize it has to be in the perfect area with the right climate.If it’s exposed to a lot of oxygen and heat it may not fossilize, it can just cause it to decompose. If it’s under a lot of sedimentary rock with a lot of pressure than its chances or fossilizing are more likely.

  39. nick says:

    Soft body animals are fossilized when they die soon , get buried after it dies with no oxygen and water and hard body parts animals that has skeletons and shells so they are easier to fossilize

  40. vinny says:

    because they die in one place and deposition and erosion occur by the wind, which would carry sediment and add on to the dead animal.

  41. Alera says:

    I think the reason for why one plant or animal is fossilized but others aren’t is because they’re probably rare. Some Species are fossilized either in Sap or Sediment. Another reason for that is probably because the conditions were horrible, so they just didn’t fossilize or just decomposed and started rotting.

  42. Adam says:

    Well there are a TON of reasons why only some things become fossilized and some don’t. But the main reason is that some things just do not fossilize. Most times, something only fossilizes if it is hard and not squishy. So my final answer is that some things just are to soft and squishy.

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