The background of life on our world is a long and also winding path. Lot of what we know about how life has actually evolved originates from fossils. The physical continues to be of organisms and also the evidence of behaviors, such together footprints, tell united state where, how, and also who old life was. Uncovering the fossil document requires researchers with plenty of different areas of expertise, consisting of geology. Expertise geology is an essential to researching paleontology due to the fact that fossils are maintained in rock. The qualities of the rocks that organize fossils deserve to be together informative together the fossils themselves.

You are watching: Which of the following would most likely contain a fossil?

There are three main types of rock: igneous rock, metamorphic rock, and also sedimentary rock. Almost all fossils are preserved in sedimentary rock.

Organisms that live in topographically low places (such together lakes or s basins) have actually the finest chance of gift preserved. This is due to the fact that they are currently in locations where sediment is most likely to ask them and shelter them from scavengers and also decay. Mudstone, shale, and limestone are examples of sedimentary rock most likely to save on computer fossils. Together the class of sediment develop up on peak of one another, they produce a physical timeline. The oldest layers, together with the organisms the were fossilized together they formed, are deepest. The youngest great are uncovered at the top. Reading the layers is complicated by the truth that as continents move and mountains rise, the class are regularly tipped sideways and also altered in various other ways.

Throughout the earth"s history, each of the three rock types has been repetitively formed and also recycled into other types of rock in a process called the “rock cycle.” This provides the rock record fragmentary and daunting to read, yet enough rock has actually been produced over time to tell united state a lot about the history of our planet.


Igneous rock is formed by the cooling that molten rock, either at the surface (lava), or secret (as granite or other similar rocks). The warm of molten rock normally incinerates organisms fairly than keeping them. There room some exceptions, such together tree trunks surrounding by lava and preserved together casts, but these are rare. 


Metamorphic rock is developed when existing absent is reinvented under high heat and pressure, which normally destroys any type of fossils the were in the rock before it was metamorphosed. Because that example, marble is produced when limestone is pressure-cooked in ~ the earth, resulting in the mineral that compose the rock to re-form into brand-new crystals.


Sedimentary rock is developed by the accumulation of minerals and other material. As rocks at the earth"s surface are damaged down, or “weathered,” the sediment is moved by pressures such together water and wind and also deposited in other places in layers. End time, this layers construct up and also solidify, coming to be sedimentary rock. Organisms deserve to be preserved as fossils if their bodies are buried within these layers.

Interactive Geology ProjectIGP is a group of scientists and animators based in ~ the university of Boulder whose mission is to illustrate straightforward principles the geology in to chat and obtainable ways.

See more: Calypso In Pirates Of The Caribbean Actress, The Actress Behind Tia Dalma'S Black Teeth

A Brief background of v TimeThis 25-minute movie illustrates the geologic development of through time.

Visit Us

Henderson Building15th and also Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309Directions and also Parking

Contact Us

 303-492-6892  cumuseum

Hours that operation

Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pmSaturday: 9am – 5pmSunday: 10am – 4pm

Become a Museum Insider

Join united state today and support the Museum’s recurring mission that research, education, and also stewardship of the biggest collection the natural and human history artifacts in the Rocky hill Region. Learn much more about ending up being a Museum Insider!