How Are Fossils Formed?: Everything You Need to Know

paleontology prehistoric fossils

If you didn’t know, fossils are kind of our thing! We love getting down and dirty in marshes, creek beds, coastal waterways, and just about anywhere necessary to uncover these little treasures! But in order to fully appreciate a fossil in all of its prehistoric glory, it’s helpful to have an understanding of what they are and how they’ve managed to survive for thousands or even millions of years. So, “how are fossils formed?” you may ask. Here’s everything you need to know to fully understand what makes them so fascinating!

We love that you’re digging fossils! Trust us. We get it. Be sure to follow us on our social media platforms (@foxyfossils), where we’re always sharing new tidbits about fossil hunting, marine conservation, and more. Hope to see you there!

How Are Fossils Formed and Why Are They So Cool?

The Permineralization Process

How is it possible for something like a shark tooth or a stingray barb to survive millions of years? Well, a few things have to happen for the circumstances to be just right, and the odds are one in millions! Fossils are formed when an animal passes near a body of water, and its body is covered before decomposing. This burial process protects the bones and other hard parts from exposure to scavengers, weathering, oxygen, and bacteria that encourage decay. Over time, water slowly dissolves the bone as it seeps in, and the water’s minerals begin to fill in the tiny holes to create a replica of the bone that was once there. Based on the minerals that form this new cast, the fossil will range in color from white-gray or black, to even blue, orange, red, or green. 

Where Can I Find Them?

There’s no better feeling than uncovering one of these hidden gems perfectly intact after thousands or even millions of years! It’s best to hit the coast to start hunting for your own collection! Although, since the coast has evolved over millions of years, some dry land may have been underwater at one point and still host a variety of marine life fossils. Check out this awesome Ancient Earth tool to see what we mean!

Beaches, marshes, and other shallow marine-hosting environments should be every fossil hunter’s go-to. Whether you uncover a 20 million-year-old megalodon shark tooth, prehistoric whalebone, or a stingray mouth plate, it’s always a rush to discover something that has been hidden for so many years. 

Prehistoric Meets Luxury Jewelry

See for yourself how beautiful and unique each fossil can be, especially when used to accessorize! Foxy Fossils collects a variety of prehistoric fossils from the shores and waterways of Charleston, SC, and crafts them into one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces that make a statement and preserve a little fragment of history. Whether you’re searching for the perfect bridesmaid accessories, a unique way to satisfy your fossil obsession, or a stunning gift to be cherished like no other, you’ll definitely find something that catches your eye! 

Like to keep it simple and elegant? Our Drop of Gold shark tooth necklace is just that and so much more. Crafted with an authentic shark tooth dipped in 14K gold, this little gem is ethically collected, sustainably made, and everything you need to complete any look. Plus, did we mention that a percentage of every sale helps support local marine life? Check out our collection of necklaces, bracelets, and more to finally get your fossil fix. After all, prehistoric is the new black. 

Foxy Fossil's Drop of Gold Shark Tooth Necklace around model's neck


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