Contents Impressions



Casts & Molds


Molecular fossils



Drying & Dessication

Wax & Asphalt

Coprolites &Gastroliths

Trace fossils


Window to the past


What are impressions ?

Impressions are two dimensional imprints of an organism that doesn't contain any organic material. An impression is a clue left of the organism's biological activity, they can be dakota leavesformed while the organism was moving or any other biological activity. Some examples of impressions are the trace fossils such as footprints, traces, remains of tunnels left by burrowing organisms, fossilized excrement's, and the holes made in shells by parasites. Impressions usually occur in fine-grained sediment such as clay or silt. One of the biggest sights where impressions of plant remains have been found are in clay pits, and especially in Puryear, Tenessee where there are remnants of Eocene plants.

What do impressions tell us ?

Impressions offer valuable information and are effective in the reconstruction of prehistoric environments. Impressions left by amphibians and reptiles in Paleozoic rocks has shown the way in which these ancient animals, otherwise known only by their skeleton structure, moved. Impressions left by the fearsome dinosaurs have allowed us to determine the environment in which these enormous reptiles lived. Through impressions, paleontologist are able to draw upon relationships that existed among various organisms in certain geographical areas.

However, impressions do present some problems to paleontologists in the fact that they are often difficult to encode, especially concerning marine organisms. Many times it is difficult to establish what kind of invertebrate may belong to a specific impression or certain borings in rocks.


Amber || Casts & Molds || Compactions || Compressions || Coprolites & Gastroliths

Drying & Dessication || Freezing || Impressions || Molecular Fossils || Permineralization

Reference || Trace Fossils || Wax & Asphalt

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