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25-Apr-2020 20:17

A storm at sea may shift sediment on the ocean floor, covering and helping to preserve skeletal remains.

On land, burial is rare, so consequently fossils of land animals and plants are less common than marine fossils.

Another fossil reminded the Greeks of the coiled horns of a ram.

The Greeks named them ammonites after the ram god Ammon.

The Chinese writer Chang Qu reports the discovery of "dragon bones", which were probably dinosaur fossils in China 2,000 years ago.

The griffin, a mythical creature with a lion's body and an eagle's head and wings, was probably based on skeletons of Protoceratops that were discovered by nomads in Central Asia (Figure 11.1).

Because mammal teeth are much more resistant than other bones, a large portion of the mammal fossil record consists of teeth.

This means the fossil record will show many organisms that had shells, bones or other hard parts and will almost always miss the many soft-bodied organisms that lived at the same time.

Fossils include body fossils, left behind when the soft parts have decayed away, as well as trace fossils, such as burrows, tracks, or fossilized waste (feces) (Figure 11.4).

On the ocean floor, a similar process occurs when clams, oysters, and other shellfish die.

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