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Taphonomy will be the topic of discussion on Natures Talk Show Fine Art of Paleontology.
The most common way fossils are formed starts as soon as an animal or plant dies. As the organism lies on the ground, or on the bed of the sea or lake, it is covered by sediment. This sediment is usually brought by water. In the diagram above, the ammonite died in a shallow sea environment and, over time, sediments covered it (shown in the second diagram). The soft body of the ammonite decayed and minerals in the water replaced the original minerals in the shell (that is, by permamineralization). Finally, after hundreds of thousands (or millions of years), the land is eroded and the fossil can be seen.
Of all the prehistoric life that died, it is only a tiny amount that has survived the fossilisation process. The conditions when the majority of organisms died were just not right at that time to preserve them.
Interesting link to go to!