Is a Dinosaur Fossil Living or Non-Living? (ANSWERED)

The answer being an emphatic no, since a living organism must fulfill certain criteria.

Let us explain.

Is a Dinosaur Fossil Living or Non-Living? (EXPLAINED)

Dinosaur fossils have captured the imagination and fascination of little children and adults, ever since their discovery.

Where did these monstrous creatures come from?

Even though we have taken these bones of long dead creatures and reassembled them into what they may have looked like, it does raise the question if these dinosaur fossils are living or non-living, scientifically speaking.

What is a Dinosaur Fossil?

A fossil is physical evidence of a prehistoric plant or animal.

It does not even have to be an animal.

Plant fossils are found quite often, and make fantastic decorations.

A fossil can even be marks that the dinosaur has made.

These may be referred to as “trace fossils,” that is, footprints, imprints of their skin or feathers, and feces, otherwise known as coprolites.

Fossils of dinosaurs are often found in sedimentary rock, where layers of mud, silt, or sand form over the deceased animal.

When searching for these fossils, paleontologists will often look in areas defined as “badlands” where there is little vegetation, and the fossil could be exposed or more easily located due to erosion on the exposed rock.

As such, what we see as bones is actually stone. That is how fossilization works.

It is also important to notate that not all living things fossilize.

As such, the once mighty dinosaurs could have died without leaving any marks.

There is a specific set of circumstances that need to occur in order for fossilization to be achieved, thus fossilization is actually quite rare. 

One of these is the deceased animal being covered in mud or sand, eliminating any oxygen to touch the animal.

Because of this, most of the fossils are marine animals.

The most common fossils they find are shark teeth, which are categorized as “body fossils”.

What is Considered Living and Non-Living

Scientifically to be considered living, the “thing” must be able to breathe, eat, grow, move, reproduce, and have senses.

Logically following that, a non-living thing cannot do any of these things.

Further characteristics of living organisms are as follows:

  • Different levels of organizations
  • Made up of cells
  • Responds to the environment
  • Grow and develop
  • Obtain and use energy
  • Reproduce

On a microscopic level, cells that make up the body are considered living because they are made up of smaller cells, they grow and develop, they obtain and use energy, and other characteristics of living things.

Plants are considered living because they absorb nutrients to grow and develop, as well as respond to their environment. 

Fossils are unable to do any of these things.

They share no characteristics with living organisms, and are simply the remains of animals that passed on.

While living things are sometimes defined as being alive or once being alive, all living things interact with each other.

They grow and develop.

Where Do Dinosaur Fossils Fit?

Non-living things have a certain set of characteristics, just as living things do.

They essentially mirror the characters of the living, just flipped to not doing those things.

Instead of responding to the environment, non-living things do not.

It is certainly possible that some of these items are categorized as non-living, did come from something living.

For instance, wood and paper once came from something living: trees.

As discussed, plants are living things.

We have successfully defined what a fossil is and what scientifically defines a living thing, and so, with both of those ideas in mind, it must be concluded that dinosaur fossils are not alive.

These fossils bear no resemblance to any living organism.

They no longer have any growing potential nor do they contain living cells, and they certainly cannot reproduce.

The fossils of dead animals, including dinosaurs, are merely remnants of once living creatures.

In that way, they may have come from something once alive, but these dinosaur fossils are not considered to be living.

In Relation

It is fairly simple to discern if something is living or non-living.

Often, it can be determined if it is living by the evidence of growth.

If an object, or thing, or what have you, has visible growth, it is determined to be alive.

Whether or not it is a houseplant being nurtured by someone, or an animal in the wild.

It is possible to get into sensitive subjects discussing living and non-living in the present atmosphere, but when discussing dinosaur fossils or any fossils of prehistoric organisms, it is easily determined whether or not something is living or not.

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is a dinosaur fossil living or non-living