- If you were looking for the TCG set, see Fossil (TCG).
A Fossil (Japanese: 化石 Fossil) is a trace or piece of an organism from the past, such as a skeleton, shell, or leaf, preserved in the earth.
In the Pokémon world, Fossils of prehistoric Pokémon are items which can be revived into living Pokémon using techniques developed by the Devon Corporation and a research laboratory on Cinnabar Island. The two institutions purportedly developed their techniques independently of each other at around the same time. There are also other scientists around the Pokémon world who can revive Fossils using these techniques.
Pokémon revived from Fossils are commonly called Fossil Pokémon.
In the games
- Kanto: Cinnabar LabRBYFRLGPE or Pewter Museum of ScienceHGSS
- Hoenn: Devon Corporation
- Sinnoh: Oreburgh Mining Museum
- Unova: Nacrene Museum
- Kalos: Ambrette Fossil Lab
- Alola: Fossil Restoration Center
- Galar: Route 6
Prior to Generation IV, Fossils were Key Items. However, from Generation IV and on, they are normal items, meaning that they can be traded freely between games. The table below summarizes the natural availability of the Fossils in the core series games.
In the games, relatively few Pokémon Trainers possess Pokémon revived from Fossils, since they are considered rare and difficult to obtain.
|Helix Fossil||Dome Fossil||Old Amber|
The Helix and Dome Fossils are chosen at the end of Mt. Moon, being guarded by a Super Nerd, but the player may only choose one to keep. The other one that the Super Nerd takes will be revived and put on display in the Safari Zone. The Old Amber is located in the secret part of the Pewter Museum of Science, which can only be accessed with HM01 Cut.
A scientist in the Pokémon Lab on Cinnabar Island can revive the Fossils. The resulting Pokémon are level 30.
No new Fossils were introduced in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, and the three fossils from Generation I have been removed from the games' data, making this generation the only one to not feature fossils in any capacity. In-game, the player simply doesn't happen to find any fossil during their adventure, while the previously introduced Cinnabar Lab has been destroyed.
However, Omanyte, Kabuto, and Aerodactyl are prominently featured in the puzzles located at Ruins of Alph. Of the three, only Aerodactyl is actually obtainable in the games via an in-game trade with an NPC in Kanto (for Chansey). Omanyte and Kabuto must be traded from Generation I.
Lance, who is now the Pokémon Champion, continues to have an Aerodactyl on his team. In addition, Brock, being a Fossil enthusiast, has an Omastar and a Kabutops in this generation's games, as well as the Stadium games in Gym Leader Castle. His fondness of Fossils is referenced again in the next generation of games when a man in Mt. Moon mentions that Brock helps excavate Fossils at the location, which implies that he excavated Omastar and Kabutops's Fossils himself.
|Root Fossil||Claw Fossil|
In Ruby and Sapphire, the player can choose one of either the Root or Claw Fossils at Route 111, and upon choosing, the other will sink away into the sand. In Emerald, however, while the player can only choose one initially at the Mirage Tower, they can retrieve the other later at the end of the Desert Underpass. In the Generation I remakes, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the player can obtain the same Fossils as in the original games: either the Helix or the Dome Fossil, and the Old Amber.
Additionally, Relicanth is also an ancient Pokémon which is partially Rock-type, and it can be considered a living fossil. However, since it survived extinction for approximately a hundred million years and can be caught in the wild instead of being revived from a Fossil, it is rarely included in the Fossil Pokémon group.
Steven Stone, a rock collector whose father is head of the Devon Corporation, has two Fossil Pokémon, Cradily and Armaldo. In Emerald, Roxanne will eventually gain a Kabutops, an Omastar, and an Aerodactyl for her team. Also, in FireRed and LeafGreen, Lance continues to have Aerodactyl on his team.
In Pokémon Colosseum's Story Mode, various characters use the Hoenn Fossils, as well as Relicanth. The most famous of these users are Miror B. and Gonzap, each of whom at some point has an Armaldo on his team. In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, this relative ubiquity is cut considerably, with Lileep, Anorith, Cradily, and Armaldo only appearing once. With that said, Relicanth deserves special mention as a member of Zook's team, while an Aerodactyl will appear on Greevil's team once his Shadow Pokémon have been Snagged.
FireRed and LeafGreen Fossils are obtained the same way as in Generation I, while Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald Fossils may be revived by a scientist in the Devon Corporation building in Rustboro City. Newly resurrected Pokémon are level 20 in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald and level 5 in FireRed and LeafGreen.
|Skull Fossil||Armor Fossil|
These Fossils can be turned into level 20 Pokémon at the Oreburgh Mining Museum.
In Diamond and Pearl, for the first time in the series, the Fossils the player is able to receive are dependent on the version played: Skull Fossils are available in Diamond only and Armor Fossils in Pearl only. In Platinum, whichever Fossil a player digs up will depend on whether the Trainer ID is even or odd. If the Trainer ID is even, the player will dig up Armor Fossils only, and if the Trainer ID is odd, the player will dig up Skull Fossils only.
In Sinnoh, when players travel underground, they can find most of the Fossils by digging, along with several other rare items, potentially. After getting the National Pokédex, they can also find the five Fossils from the previous three generations. However, the chances of finding most of the previous generation Fossils, much like with several other items, follows a similar formula to the Sinnoh Fossils. This makes it easier to find certain Fossils which are found uncommonly, while the others become more difficult in the opposite version which instead are found very rarely. For example, the Helix and Claw Fossils have an easier chance to be found if the Skull Fossil is available, or the Dome and Root Fossil if the Armor Fossil is available. The Old Amber is the only Fossil whose ratio remains unchanged regardless of version as it will always be found rarely.
In Johto's Generation IV games, the DomeSS and HelixHG Fossils as well as the Old Amber can be found randomly by smashing breakable rocks outside Ruins of Alph. RootSS and ClawHG Fossils can be found randomly by smashing breakable rocks in the Cliff Cave after entering the Hall of Fame. Fossils found in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver can be revived as level 20 Pokémon at the Pewter Museum of Science. The Skull and Armor Fossils are absent from both games, so either they, or the Pokémon revived from them, must be transferred from Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum.
In this generation, Fossils are considered to be normal items. As such, they can be held by a Pokémon and traded to another game.
Roark has a Cranidos, while his father, Byron, has a Bastiodon. Rampardos and Shieldon are also used by two minor Trainers. After entering the Hall of Fame, Aerodactyl can be spotted with other Trainers.
As in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Brock has an Omastar and a Kabutops on his team in HeartGold and SoulSilver and also uses a Rampardos in rematches. Lance continues to have Aerodactyl on his initial team, but it is not used in rematches.
Pokémon Black and White once again brought a new set of Fossils to the Pokémon world:
|Cover Fossil||Plume Fossil|
These Fossils can be revived into level 25 Pokémon using a machine in the Nacrene City Museum.
In Pokémon Black and White, one of these two Fossils will be given away by a person in Relic Castle, similar to how the Helix and Dome Fossils are originally obtained in the Kanto-based games.
Two Fossil Pokémon were introduced for Pokémon X and Y.
|Jaw Fossil||Sail Fossil|
One of the two Fossils is given to the player in Glittering Cave and can be restored at the research facility in Ambrette Town. The resulting Pokémon are level 20. The Old Amber can also be collected after this by smashing breakable rocks in the back of Glittering Cave.
After entering the Hall of Fame, the player can return to Glittering Cave and smash rocks to find the Skull, Armor, Plume, and Cover Fossils, regardless of version, as well as Root and Claw FossilsX or Dome and Helix FossilsY.
In Hoenn's Generation VI games, the Root and Claw Fossil are collected and restored the same way as the original Ruby and Sapphire games. Restoring fossils can be done at the second floor of the Devon Corporation. During the post-game, a number of other fossils can be collected by smashing breakable rocks at the Mirage spots. While the Old Amber can be found regardless of version, the Dome, Armor, and Plume Fossils are exclusive to Omega Ruby and the Helix, Skull, and Cover Fossils are exclusive to Alpha Sapphire. The Jaw and Sail Fossils are absent from both games, so either they, or the Pokémon that are revived from them, must be transferred from X and Y.
Generation VII introduces no new Fossils, but the player may obtain most of the previous Fossils depending on the game. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, only the fossils from Sinnoh and Unova are available. Their location is at Olivia's jewelry shop in Konikoni City, where the player can buy a Skull Fossil and a Cover Fossil in Pokémon Sun or an Armor Fossil and a Plume Fossil in Pokémon Moon.
In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, this has been expanded to include more of the previous fossils which were absent from the original games. The Helix, Claw, and Jaw Fossils may be purchased alongside the Skull and Cover Fossils in Ultra Sun, and the Dome, Root, and Sail Fossils may be purchased alongside the Armor and Plume Fossils in Ultra Moon. Additionally, unlike the original games, any of these fossils can now also be obtained from Isle Aphun at Poké Pelago regardless of version. This is done from conducting a Rare Treasure-Hunting expedition (or an Interesting Item-Hunting expedition once the island has reached Development Level 3), where any of these fossils have a very rare chance of being obtained.
The Fossils can be revived at the Fossil Restoration Center on Route 8. The newly revived Pokémon come at level 15.
Several minor Trainers use some of these Fossil Pokémon or their evolved forms as part of their teams. In addition for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon only, Olivia uses both Lileep and Anorith during her grand trial. Later, when the player faces Olivia at the Pokémon League, they have evolved into Cradily and Armaldo respectively as part of her upgraded team.
In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, all the Kanto Fossils are obtainable in the same locations as they were in Generations I and III. In addition, more of them can be found on the second floor of Cerulean Cave, where random rare items spawn occasionally.
Generation VIII introduced four new fossils, the most of any generation. Reviving fossils in Pokémon Sword and Shield is a much different process than it has been in the past generations. Two completely different fossils must be combined, by Cara Liss on Route 6, to form a chimeric Fossil Pokémon. These Pokémon all start at level 10, their genders are unknown, and cannot breed. These are also the only Fossil Pokémon that are not Rock-type.
Most previous Fossil Pokémon can be encountered in the wild in the Crown Tundra, often as wanderers, with possible exceptions being Omanyte and Omastar (exclusive to Sword), Kabuto and Kabutops (exclusive to Shield), and Generation IV Fossil Pokémon (unavailable in both versions). While no attention is brought to the reason for their presence as wild Pokémon in modern times, with most of their Pokédex entries in Pokémon Sword and Shield either mentioning they were revived from fossils or glossing over their status as Fossil Pokémon entirely, Omanyte's entry in Pokémon Sword specifically mentions specimens that either escaped or were released after their revival. The only other clearly stated case is Kabuto, whose Pokédex entries have been mentioning its status as a living fossil akin to Relicanth since Generation II. Data for their respective fossils still exists in the games, but they cannot be obtained.
|Helix Fossil||Dome Fossil||Old Amber|
|Root Fossil||Claw Fossil||Skull Fossil||Armor Fossil|
|Helix Fossil||Dome Fossil||Old Amber|
|Root Fossil||Claw Fossil||Skull Fossil||Armor Fossil|
|Cover Fossil||Plume Fossil||Jaw Fossil||Sail Fossil|
In spin-off games
In the anime
In the anime, some Fossil Pokémon are in fact, not extinct, but have simply been hibernating underground for millions of years, as seen in Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon, Shell Shock!, and Fossil Fools. However Gary has used research to directly revive Fossil Pokémon, as seen in Putting the Air Back in Aerodactyl!. Unlike in the games, where Fossils of ancient Pokémon are resurrected into the skeletons of the prehistoric using a machine that recreates the missing organs that had decomposed away from the genes extracted in the remains, this Aerodactyl was in fact completely revived from a Fossil that was fully preserved inside of an Old Amber for millions of years and thus still had the memories of its past life.
Butler tried to create a Groudon for Team Magma in Jirachi: Wish Maker from a fossilized remnant, but the experiment failed and Butler left Team Magma. Professor Proctor used research to directly revive Fossil Pokémon, as seen in Where's Armaldo?.
Roark, as he does in the games, has a Cranidos which evolves into a Rampardos. Roark and his team retrieve Fossils from the Oreburgh Mine and give them to the Oreburgh Mining Museum. The museum's director Dr. Kenzo uses the Fossils for their Fossil revitalization program. Roark's Pokémon, as well as several other Fossil Pokémon revived by the Fossil Restorer Machine, appear in A Gruff Act to Follow!, Wild in the Streets!, and O'er the Rampardos we Watched!. Byron, Roark's father, also has quite a collection in his Gym. This includes the Fossil Pokémon Kabuto, Kabutops, Omanyte, Omastar, Cradily, and Armaldo, as well as a giant Claw Fossil. He also kept a Sunkern leaf Fossil that Roark found when he was a child.
In A Night in the Nacrene City Museum!, a Kabuto Fossil was first seen chasing Hawes, as he claimed it to be doing, but was later seen safely placed in a display case. Hawes later explained what it was to the trio. It was later revealed that the Yamask in the Nacrene City Museum was using its move Psychic to make the Dome Fossil float and chase after Hawes after he put its mask in a display case, thinking that it was a replica Yamask mask given to him as a gift from the company that made a Cofagrigus replica after purchasing it from them for the museum.
Lenora gave a Plume Fossil to Professor Juniper and Fennel prior to Archeops In The Modern World!. They successfully resurrected a female Archen from the Fossil using Musharna's dream energy. With the help of Ash and his Tranquill, Archen learned how to fly and then evolved into Archeops.
In A Restoration Confrontation! Part 1, Team Rocket stole a Cover Fossil from Ferris. Dr. Zager revived it into a Tirtouga as part of a plot to open a Time Gate beneath Twist Mountain, but the Tirtouga subsequently escaped, evolved into Carracosta and returned to the past through the Time Gate in the next episode.
Kiawe found two fossils in Treasure Hunt, Akala Style!, during the Stoutland Search treasure hunt set up for Ash and his classmates by Olivia. On the first round, he found a Skull Fossil, and on the second one, he found a Plume Fossil.
In A Pinch of This, a Pinch of That!, Ash, Goh, and Chloe traveled to Galar to dig up fossils in the Wild Area. With the help of Cara Liss and Bray Zenn, they found four fossils and revived them into a Dracovish and an Arctozolt, which Ash and Goh, respectively, later caught.
In File 3: Giovanni, Red was seen using a Kabutops in his battle against Giovanni, presumably revived from a Dome Fossil. Since Red is mentioned to have caught all 150 Generation I Pokémon (excluding Mew) by the time of File 4: Charizard, it means that he has also obtained the other Kanto Fossil Pokémon, presumably also revived from Fossils. As Blue was mentioned to have collected 148 Pokémon, it is likely that he had also collected all Kanto Fossil Pokémon.
In the manga
|This section is incomplete.|
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: other manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Lance and Brock both have Fossil Pokémon, just as in the games. Misty also temporarily has an Omanyte, but she gives this to Yellow. In addition, Red uses Blaine's laboratory to revive an Aerodactyl. In Hoenn, Ruby fights a revived Lileep and an Anorith at Professor Cozmo's laboratory in Fallarbor Town. In Sinnoh, Roark has a Cranidos like in the games, and his father a Shieldon, which he later gives to Diamond. In Unova, N had an Archeops, which he released, and Black has a Carracosta, which was owned by Marshal as a Tirtouga. Blake also has a Kabutops. In Kalos, Grant has an Aurorus and a Tyrantrum. In Galar, Marvin obtained a Dracovish after saving it from several Macro Cosmos employees.
In the TCG
All Fossils have appeared in the TCG at one point or another, usually being released in the same expansion as the Pokémon which are revived from them, and being released as Trainer cards. Initially, only the Mysterious Fossil card existed, which could be evolved into any of the three Generation I Fossil Pokémon; however, its use was eventually discontinued in favor of individual Dome Fossil, Helix Fossil, and Old Amber cards to match the Claw, Root, Skull, Armor, Cover, Plume, Jaw, and Sail Fossil cards. Ultra Prism brought the return of a shared Trainer card which could evolve into any Fossil Pokémon released during the Sun & Moon Series, this time known as Unidentified Fossil.
In addition, there are some other Fossil (related) cards, like Buried Fossil from Skyridge (the only non-Trainer Fossil cards, which is a Colorless type Pokémon instead); Fossil Egg from Neo Discovery; and Holon Fossil from EX Holon Phantoms.
The following is a list of Fossil items unique to the Trading Card Game, with cards played as Basic Pokémon listed first. For listings of cards corresponding to specific game fossils, see their individual item pages.
Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format.
Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
|Mysterious Fossil||T||Fossil||62/62||Mystery of the Fossils|
|EX Legend Maker||79/92||Mirage Forest||078/086|
|EX Holon Phantoms||92/110|
|EX Power Keepers||85/108||World Champions Pack||087/108|
|Buried Fossil||Skyridge||47/144||Split Earth||070/088|
|Unidentified Fossil||I||Ultra Prism||134/156||Ultra Sun||055/066|
|Forbidden Light||116/131||Forbidden Light||078/094|
|Team Up||155/181||Tag Bolt||079/095|
|Unified Minds||210/236||Miracle Twin||083/094|
|Cosmic Eclipse||207/236||Alter Genesis||084/095|
|Rare Fossil||I||Darkness Ablaze||167/189||Infinity Zone||091/100|
|Fossil Egg||T||Neo Discovery||72/75||Crossing the Ruins...|
|Holon Fossil||T||EX Holon Phantoms||86/110||Holon Phantom||049/052|
- The Generation I Fossil Pokémon are the only Rock-type Pokémon of that generation that are not part Ground-type.
- Cranidos and Rampardos are the only Fossil Pokémon that are pure-Rock type.
- Tirtouga and Carracosta are the only Fossil Pokémon to have Rock as their secondary type.
- Archen and Archeops are the only Fossil Pokémon without Hidden Abilities.
- Aerodactyl is the only Fossil Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution.
- Generation VIII is the only generation to have fossil Pokémon that aren't Rock types, are gender unknown, and are incapable of breeding.
- The Fossilized Drake and Fossilized Fish appear to have an inventory sprite mix up, as the Fossilized Fish offers the "-vish" head for Arctovish and Dracovish, but the item itself looks more like the Draco- body, with the same being said for the Fossilized Drake looking like the "-vish" head but offers instead the "Draco-" body for Dracovish and Dracozolt.
- Fossil Pokémon are featured in a Japan-only nationwide traveling exhibition, Pokémon Fossil Museum (Japanese: ポケモン化石博物館). Visitors can learn about the real-life prehistoric animals that inspired the designs of fossil Pokémon and compare between them, and view conceptual artwork depicting the skeletal anatomy of certain fossil Pokémon, as well as real life replicas of said skeletons.
In other languages
|Items||Evolution stones • Fossils • Flutes • Shards • Held items|
Evolution items • Escape items • Exchangeable items • Valuable items
Battle items • Scents • Nectars • Candy • Ingredients
|Medicine||Status condition healing items • Vitamins • Feathers|
Mints • Drinks • Herbal medicine
|Berries and Apricorns||Poké Balls • Berries • Mulch • Apricorns|
|Aesthetic||Decorations • Accessories • Backdrops • Props • Décor|
Clothing (VI • VII • VIII)
|Others||Mail • Key Items • Event items|
Wonder Launcher items • Rotom Powers
|This item article is part of Project ItemDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on all items.|