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Fossils are preserved remains or traces of organisms that lived in the past

Fossils are preserved remains or traces of organisms that lived in the past. Thousands of layers of sedimentary rock not only provide evidence of the history of Earth itself but also of changes in organisms whose fossil remains have been found in those layers. The collection of fossils and their placement in chronological order (e.g., through the location of rock layers or through radioactive dating) is collectively known as the fossil record. It documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms throughout the history of life on Earth.

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