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Fossils (what are they?)

Chambers Technical Dictionary defines a fossil as:

        _A relic of some former living thing -plant or animal- embedded in, or 
out of, the superficial deposits of past geological periods._

It does not make any mention of the state of preservation of a fossil, ie.
whether it is still in its original state or been altered in any
way.However it does include frozen mammoths as well as trace fossils which
it defines as Moulds, casts and impressions

Also the word fossil is (so I am told )derived from the latin FOSSILIS
meaning anything dug up!!