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Fossils
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Fossils



Fossils
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.38

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    handprint, original, evergreen, sediment, organism, dissolve, entire, resin, wooly, molds, history, record, form, study, harden, such


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     Spanish: Los Fósiles


Fossils
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Do you remember making a handprint in clay when you were young? Remember how thrilled your mom was when you gave it to her? Fossils are like those hand prints in clay. They preserve memories of the past. And scientists are just as thrilled to get them as your mom was to get hers.
 
2     Fossils are the preserved evidence or remains of a living thing from long ago. They are formed when plants or animals are buried in sediments. We mostly think of fossils as imprints of a plant or animal in a rock. But fossils can be other things, too. The bones of an animal can become fossils. Worm trails and footprints that have been preserved in rocks are also considered fossils.
 
3     Two types of fossils can be formed when an animal or plant is buried in sediments. One is called a mold, and the other is a cast.
 
4     A mold is formed when the soft parts of a plant or animal decay. The hard parts dissolve. An empty space is left in the rock. It looks very similar to the handprint you made in clay. It has the same shape as the organism. These are probably the most common kinds of fossils.
 
5     When the molds fill with minerals, a cast is formed. The minerals harden in the shape of the organism.

Paragraphs 6 to 13:
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Fossils
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