Living Fossil
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Basic Information

A living fossil is a creature which, while not extinct, does not have any living related species, and is otherwise only found in the fossil record. In extreme cases, the fossil may not even have any living relatives, being a unique survivor from ancient times … more mundane examples are simply a species which has outlived anything similar and no given individual need be particularly old.

Note the isolation from other living species - there are many, many species on the planet that appear to have changed little, if at all, over millions of years, but are still firmly rooted in living taxonomy.

If sapient, the living fossil may also/alternatively be considered a time abyss (but generally only when it is old in and of itself rather than part of an ancient species).

See Also



Game and Story Use

  • Living fossils are a good excuse if you need to introduce a strange or dangerous creature to a modern-day adventure without using blatantly supernatural creatures.
  • A living fossil might literally have been reanimated from a fossil; this idea was used in both Jurassic Park and Pokemon.
    • The Dresden Files amused themselves with this as well - although would be animators should note that very few of the assembled "fossil skeletons" are anything of the kind - most are at least partially composed of replica pieces.
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