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Fossils are literally the remains of numerous animals that lived thousands or millions of years ago. When these animals died, they were hidden in layers and layers of planet. While their flesh would rot away, the more difficult parts of their body, such as coverings, bones, etc, would certainly stay intact in between the layers of sediment. Now, all those years later on, those bones and shells can still be discovered, undamaged, as those layers of sediment are again uncovered.