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Fossils are actually the remains of numerous creatures that lived thousands or millions of years earlier. As soon as these animals passed away, they were buried in layers and also layers of planet. While their flesh would certainly rot away, the harder components of their body, such as coverings, bones, etc, would remain intact in between the layers of debris. Currently, all those years later, those bones and coverings can still be discovered, undamaged, as those layers of sediment are once again uncovered.