What are Fossils?

Fossil collecting is an thrilling hobby for kids. First, you are collecting things which are much older than you are. Fossils are millions of years old. It is not that easy to collect dinosaur fossils, but you can collect other fossils of different creatures which lived during the same time as dinosaurs. Another good reason to collect fossils is that it is free! You can find them everywhere, in old dirt cliffs and in rocks around beaches. Fossils are what's left of plants or animals that lived a long time ago. Fossils are made in five easy steps. The first step is when an animal dies, the hardest parts; the bones remain. Step two is these bones become covered with sand and dirt. Step three, this sand and dirt is pushed together until it becomes rock over many millions of years. Step four, the hard parts of the animal (bones and teeth) begin to have a watery minerals begin to break apart and dissolve the bones so that the minerals turn hard and take the place of the bones. The hard parts of the animal are very slowly replaced little by little with minerals like iron and silica and calcium. Step five, now a fossil is left.

     


It is similar to pressing a wax candle into clay and then melting the candle. Then put (millions of years pass) in some sand. The sand takes over and latter turns hard and can be taken out of the clay. Part of the candle (lets say bone) are still there, but most has been replaced by sand (minerals in the rock). Now you take out a fossil of the candle.

Fossils have the same shape that the original thing had, but its color, weight, and how smooth it was can be different. A fossil's color depends on what minerals made it. Fossils are usually heavier than the original item since they are made entirely of minerals (they are now rock, that has replaced most of the real thing). Most fossils are made of ordinary rock material.

Taiwan has many places for children to find fossils. There are a lot around White Sand beach or Kenting. If you look on the ground or at large rocky places near the water, you should find many fossils of animals that lived in sea shells, but are now half buried in rock or sand stone. Sea shells are not replaced by minerals, they are usually the real shell, because it is already very hard. Another place to look is in stones on dirt trails that go up mountains like Yu-Ming mountain. These trails will have a lot of small rocks with old plants and insect buried inside. If you pick one up and wash it off, you might be lucky enough to find a fossil. If you look in shallow streams, it is also easy to find plants and animals in the rocks. The water makes it easier, and the stream washes away the dirt so you find a lot more rocks. So because of this, your chances are pretty good to find some fossils if you look carefully.


About the Author

Scott C. Waring has a BA degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Counseling Education. Please check out my novels George's Pond, or West's Time Machine, at most online bookstores.

Iuniverse bookstore: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-41887-2

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