Paleontology and tourism
exercize a great fascination on the people and the information attached
to a fossil is extremely rich and atractive. Fossils are precious
records of ancient ages. Their preservation requires a well defined
set of conditions without which dead animals and plants would otherwise
have been completely decomposed. Dead organisms are buried by mud
at the bottom of water bodies or by sediments carried to the sea.
Although the soft parts of their bodies soon disappear, bones, teeth,
shields, shells and wooden fragments may take longer to decompose.
When buried under low oxigen conditions, they can be preserved in
sedimentary rocks for millions of years. Another type of fossil record
is that left by footprints or burrowing worm.