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Fossils are actually the remains of various creatures that lived thousands or millions of years ago. As soon as these animals passed away, they were hidden in layers and layers of planet. While their flesh would rot away, the tougher components of their body, such as shells, bones, etc, would remain intact in between the layers of sediment. Currently, all those years later, those bones and shells can still be discovered, undamaged, as those layers of sediment are again uncovered.