08/14/2013 09:37 am ET

Tips On How To Become A Fossil So Future Paleontologists Find You

Wikimedia Commons: Brett Eloff/Wits University

Earlier this summer, on a break from scraping Jurassic stone off dinosaur bones at an eastern Utah quarry, I wandered through the fantastical landscape of Arches National Park. While following the short Park Avenue trail, I noticed that the burnt orange sand running down the middle of the canyon retained the footprints of previous visitors.

Looking at the footprints, thinking about how long they might last, a peculiar question struck me: When I die, will I leave any traces behind in the fossil record?

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