If dinosaur bones turned to stone, how do we know they are indeed fossils, and not oddly shaped rocks?


Oddly enough, my 5 year old kid asked me this question, so I wanted to make sure he got a proper answer.

In: Biology

Depending on the quality of the fossilization, you’ll get extremely microscopic details preserved that really look like cellular structures. Also, bones often have extremely complex 3d contours that are very consistent between members of a species. In both cases, and probably for a hundred other examples people can give, it’s technically possible for these shapes to occur coincidentally, but the chance is so low that we really don’t have to worry about it.

Some fossilized parts still look like parts of currently living things, with very specialized shapes – like tooth and bark for example.

Get yourself a fossil set with some shark tooth and fossilized wood. Kid will understand and love it.