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Look closely at this photograph of a rock found by a student here in Utah. Notice the small structures? These are fossils. Fossils are hardened remains of a plant or animal that lived long, long ago. 

Look even closer. What do the small structures look like? Do they resemble seashells? But wait, there is no ocean in Utah! Scientists look closely at a fossil's shape, size, structure of skeleton, or patterns of leaves to link past life forms with the living organisms we see today? 
Fossils give us a glimpse of what ancient Utah was like. The climate, life and landforms are very different from those we see today. Fossils are your link to the past. Just for fun, imagine a Utah of the past full of strange species and great bodies of water. Share with a friend, draw a picture, or write a few paragraphs about what you imagine.
n the next few pages you will unlock some secrets of fossils, and create your own picture of Utah’s past.
Moldy Oldies How Has Utah's Environment Changed Over Time?
Map It Going, Going, Gone
What Kind of Rock Has Fossils In It? So...Where Did They Go?

Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 4th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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