Fossil Comparisons

Look closely at the photograph. This sedimentary "rock" was found by a student here in Utah. What kind of fossils do you see inside the rock? How are these fossils different from other fossils you have seen?

Write a paragraph describing what the fossils in this rock look like, or discuss what it looks like with a partner. 

Did you notice that some of the fossils look like shells? I'll bet it is because you saw bumps and lines in the rock that looked like the outside of a sea shell. Scientists look closely at fossils and try to see if they are similar to something that is now found on Earth. Examples of observations that a scientist will try to make include: shape, size and structure of skeleton, or the patterns of leaves

What visible structures did you see in the rock that look similar to something that is alive today? The photograph at the right is an oyster. It is a type of shell. What similarities do you see to the fossil rock seen previously? 

At the left is a fossil seen on the cliffs of the beach of Oregon. How is it similar to the fossil found in Utah above? What do you think that Utah was like when the fossils such as those at the top of the page were still living?

In the following pages, you will learn more about fossils and how they relate to Utah.