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What Is a Fossil?

The word “fossil” comes from the Latin word fossilis, meaning “dug up,” a reference to the fact that most fossils must be excavated.

The term fossil describes a wide range of natural artefacts. Generally speaking, a fossil is any evidence of past plant or animal life that is preserved in the material of the earth's crust.

You probably rely on fossils everyday by using fossil fuels such as oil, gas, or coal to power cars, lights, and heat or cool your house. Fossil fuels are organic carbon from ancient plants and marine life that lived millions of years ago. So, every time you pull into a gas station, think about the fossils that are filling the tank!

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