fossilize

When something fossilizes, it becomes a fossil, meaning it leaves an impression in the Earth that far outlives the organism.

Fossils are remnants left in rock of a living creature: the remnants have been petrified over many years and they leave an impression of what the animal was like. Fossilizing is a word for this process, which happens slowly over time. If dinosaurs had not fossilized, we wouldn't know much about what dinosaurs were like. The most likely parts of a creature to fossilize are hard parts like bones and shells.

Definitions of fossilize
  1. verb
    convert to a fossil
    “The little animals fossilized and are now embedded in the limestone”
    synonyms: fossilise
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    types:
    lapidify, petrify
    change into stone
    type of:
    convert
    change the nature, purpose, or function of something
  2. verb
    become mentally inflexible
    synonyms: fossilise
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    type of:
    age, get on, maturate, mature, senesce
    grow old or older
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