Fossil hunting

Fossil hunting is enjoyed by amateurs and professionals alike. In fact, palaeontology is one of the few sciences where amateurs have made - and continue to make - important new discoveries. Professional collectors include both those who collect fossils to study and those who collect them to sell. In both cases, there is often a lot of hard work to excavate the fossil and prepare it for display, sometimes hundreds of hours. That - and their rarity - explains why some fossils are worth fantastic amounts of money.

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Fossil types

Body fossils are the preserved remains of the actual body parts of an animal or plant such as a skeleton or a pollen grain. Trace fossils are the remains of ancient activity, such as the burrow left by a worm or a stone tool made by a prehistoric person. Some fossils preserve original features in exquisite detail, while others are much cruder remnants.

Ancient Earth habitats

If you were able to travel back far in time, you'd find Earth to be a very different place - at times a giant hot molten ball of rock, at others a frozen planet completely covered in snow and ice. During its long history, Earth has been covered by habitats and experienced climates that no longer exist. Discover more about these and about the dramatic story of ancient Earth.