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Fossils are actually the remains of numerous creatures that lived thousands or millions of years earlier. Once these creatures died, they were buried in layers as well as layers of planet. While their flesh would certainly rot away, the tougher components of their body, such as shells, bones, etc, would certainly remain undamaged between the layers of debris. Currently, all those years later, those bones and shells can still be discovered, intact, as those layers of sediment are again unearthed.