Where do fossils like to go on vacation? To the dino-shore! Where have fossils been found? On every Earth continent! Here are some words related to fossils. Can you find their definitions or descriptions?

Dug Up

1. This is the science that studies fossils to learn about plants and animals that lived from 10,000 to millions of years ago.

2. Most fossils are found in this type of rock, which is created when layers of sand, mud or rocks are buried and then turned to stone under the weight of layers above them. This takes many, many layers and thousands to millions of years to happen.

3. This is what is left of ancient animals and plants. It can be a bone or tooth that has turned to stone; or the imprint of plant or an animal’s skin, body or hair. It can also be something that was left behind, like tracks or burrows.

4. Many fossils are formed when the plant or animal is quickly buried and the chemicals in groundwater replace the microscopic cells in the creature or plant. Eventually, after a long, long time, the entire plant or animal has been replaced by minerals. This word is used to describe fossils that are formed this way.

5. We get the word fossil from the Latin word “fossilis.” What does fossilis mean?

6. This large shark grew 40–50 feet long, weighed 48 tons and lived in the area that is now the Chesapeake Bay 28 million to 1.5 million years ago! The only fossils it left behind are teeth — which are up to 7 inches long — and pieces of its backbone.

7. These are “fake” fossils. These rocks are shaped like fossils, or contain patterns that look like fossils. But these rocks were never part of a living plant or creature. Their shapes and patterns were formed by other processes, such as water seeping through a rock that leaves a fernlike pattern.

8. This is another name for fossilized poop.


1. Paleontology
2. Sedimentary
3. Fossil
4. Pemineralization
5. Dug Up
6. Megalodon
7. Pseudofossils
8. Coprolite