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see fossilfossil,
remains or imprints of plants or animals preserved from prehistoric times by the operation of natural conditions. Fossils are found in sedimentary rock, asphalt deposits, and coal and sometimes in amber and certain other materials.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the conversion of the remains of animals and plants into fossils as a result of the action of a number of factors: temperature and pressure,- the replacement of skeletal matter by other mineral substances, and the filling of cavities in organic residue by other mineral substances.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A fossilization process whereby inorganic matter dissolved in water replaces the original organic materials, converting them to a stony substance.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.