GEOLOGY | FOSSILS | key fossil groups
Trace fossils are the preserved, lithified remains of the agency of organisms. The trace fossils that immediately jump to mind are the footprint trackways of dinosaurs, like the ones at Ardley in Oxfordshire. The burrows of organisms such as echinoids, bivalves and worms are often preserved in the rock record.
Every trace fossil offers us a snapshot of the agency of an organism, the nature of the substrate that it was active on/in and the environment in which it lived.
The study of trace fossils is called ichnology.
Image: a trackway of a theropod dinosaur.
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