Fossils are remains of long-dead animals that are still preserved in rocks. They give us an interesting insight into how the living beings were like thousands of years ago and how they evolved into creatures that exist today. Read on to know cool and fun facts about fossils.
The oldest of all the fossils
The oldest fossils are stromatolites, which are the remains of microscopic bacteria cyanobacteria. They are more than 3,000 million years ago
Some scientists claim that the oldest fossils found are that of microorganisms in Nuvvuagittuq, in Northern Quebec, Canada. These are estimated to be at least 3770 million years old. However, the scientists are still in disagreement about the age of these fossils.
They were found in various locations. One such location is Shark Bay, Western Australia.
The best-preserved fossils
Naturally preserved fossils in the Solnhofen Plattenkalk limestone (Germany) stand out from the rest of the fossil accumulations around the world. The fossils found are preserved in detail and are undamaged. The most renowned fossils of the Solnhofen Plattenkalk include the early feathered dinosaur Archaeopteryx.
The first mammals
The first mammals appeared at the end of the Triassic Period (251 million – 199 million years ago). They were small creatures similar to shrews. They existed while the dinosaurs still roamed the earth. They weighed up to 245 grams.
Fossils of biggest animals
As of 2018, The largest land animal fossil was of Argentinian dinosaur that weighed as much as a 14 elephants put together! It was about 40 meters long and 20 meters tall. It might have weighed more than 70 tons.
But this Argentinian dinosaur is still far behind the gigantic marine reptile known as Ichthyosaur as well as the blue whale.
Pteranodon was a flying reptile lived during the Late Cretaceous in North America. Its wingspan measured almost seven meters long, twice the average family car.
Cool Dinosaur Fossil Facts
- Torosaurus dinosaur’s skull measured 2.6 meters. This is the largest skull known of any animal.
- The hadrosaur (duckbill) Edmontosaurus might have had 1,000 teeth in its mouth.
- It is believed that the smallest dinosaur to exist was Compsognathus. It was the size of a chicken and fed on small animals like insects and lizards.
- Troodon was the smartest dinosaur that ever lived. The reason to establish this belief is the large size of its brain. Its tooth was first discovered in 1856, but that was all the scientists had of this dinosaur until the 1930s.
- Today, the living species that is closest to the dinosaurs is the chicken.
If you want to discover more, read this cool article on paleontology.