trace fossil


Definition of trace fossil

: a fossil (as of a dinosaur footprint) that shows the activity of an animal or plant but is not formed from the organism itself

Examples of trace fossil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the same year, the Austrian paleontologist Theodor Fuchs, an authority on trace fossils, independently arrived at the same conclusion. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "How Scientists Resolved the Mystery of the Devil’s Corkscrews," 26 Nov. 2019 These particular trace fossils consist of up to 12 parallel scratches, and had been thought to be connected to a trilobite but the evidence was never strong enough, Geggel reports. Lauren Young, Smithsonian, "These Spectacularly Preserved Trilobite Fossils Come Complete With Guts, Gills and Legs," 8 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trace fossil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trace fossil

1956, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of trace fossil was in 1956

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Cite this Entry

“Trace fossil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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