How To Fossilise Your Pet! The Story Of Fossils.

So, after working out what a fossil is last week, today we are going to ask, “What do I need to make a fossil?” Take Geoff the dog. If we wanted to fossilise him – what would we need to do? How could we turn him into a fossil?

 Well, we need to have 4 ingredients together to get a fossil. And they are:

  1. A fossil must be buried quickly.
  2. A fossil must be buried deeply.
  3. A fossil must be buried without any air.
  4. A fossil is almost always buried by water.

So, what do we mean? Well, let’s start with #1. It’s important to understand that all fossils are now dead. So those creatures were buried before they had a chance to rot away or be destroyed. Living things do not hang about for long once they die, leaves rot, animals get eaten, and they all disappear quickly. So, to be able to fossilise a creature, we need to bury it before it gets a chance to decompose.

This Stegosaurus was fossilised before it had chance for it’s bones to rot away.

And then there’s #2. Even if we bury Geoff quickly, he can still be dug up! Or worms can dig down to him. We must bury him deep enough, so nothing can get to him, as well as allowing enough pressure to begin to fill his bones up with minerals, turning him into a fossil.

This is a fossil tree, buried below many metres of rock!

Onto #3. You see, if an animal or plant is buried deep and quick – that still may not be enough! We need to make sure there is no air, so bacteria and microorganisms can’t get to them and still rot them away!

A beautiful fossil fern, no damage or rot at all!

Finally, #4. In order to put this all together, you need to get a big mixture of sediment (mud, sand, clay, etc), and mix it up with the creatures you want to become fossils, so they become buried within the new rock you are making. And there is only one thing that can do this amount of mixing – water!

Dinosaurs being buried rapidly by flood waters. Picture credit: Dinosaur Provincial Park, USA.

And that still may not be enough! You still need the right kind of sediment to fossilise an animal – too coarse and the animal may get ground up, too fine and it won’t turn to rock. What you actually need to make a fossil is the right process!

Does this make sense? To help explain more, next week we will be looking at a very special example, which will help us to understand what is needed to make a fossil…

In the meantime, why not arrange a visit to the Genesis Museum of Creation Research or read more about fossils and fossilisation on the Creation Research Website, or click HERE for a free magazine on fossils.