Fossil Types

Molds
Casts
Trace Fossils
Coprolites
False Fossils


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Fossil Types

False Fossils

Minerals can sometimes grow within rocks into shapes that resemble fossils. Dendrite crystals are often mistaken for fernlike fossils. Flint nodules in chalk can look like a variety of different life forms. Mineral concretions in sediments are sometimes mistaken for fossilized eggs. It is only with close study that the true nature of false fossils can be discovered.

Modern animals and plants sometimes become mummified or coated in travertine (calcium carbonate salts from springwater), or they may die while trapped in cracks in older rock strata. These remains are not true fossils, but trapped animals and plants may eventually fossilize with time.