When does a bone become a fossil?



A reconstruction of the skull of a Homo naledi child

Brett Eloff Photography/Wits University

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The word “fossil” is one that I type out rather frequently. You’ll often read stories about new hominin remains in which they are described as fossils. But hang on. Fossils take a long time to form, so how old does a human bone or tooth need to be before it counts as a fossil? Should…


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