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Fossils are actually the remains of various creatures that lived thousands or millions of years back. When these creatures passed away, they were buried in layers and also layers of planet. While their flesh would certainly rot away, the tougher parts of their body, such as shells, bones, etc, would remain undamaged between the layers of sediment. Now, all those years later, those bones and also coverings can still be located, undamaged, as those layers of sediment are again discovered.