Fossils are the remains or imprints of organisms (animals, plants) that are preserved, usually in a sedimentary rock such as sandstone or limestone. Most fossils are those of bones, teeth or shells as the tough parts of the organism decompose more slowly than the soft parts, hence they are more likely to fossilise. However, fossils of eggs, plants, insects, skin and feathers have also been discovered.
Apart from the fossils and rocks they bring back from their international research trips, our palaeontologists, archaeobiologists and geologists have more than 3 million fossils and about 40 kilometres of core samples at their disposal in the Institute for further research! Some of the finest specimens are on display at the Museum and you can discover them for yourself during a visit, or as part of an activity with our education service.