Definitions for paleontologyˌpeɪ li ənˈtɒl ə dʒi; esp. Brit. ˌpæl i-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word paleontology
paleontology, palaeontology, fossilology(noun)
the earth science that studies fossil organisms and related remains
Study of the forms of life existing in prehistoric or geologic times, especially as represented by fossils.
the science which treats of the ancient life of the earth, or of fossils which are the remains of such life
Origin: [Paleo- + Gr. 'o`nta existing things + -logy. Cf. Ontology.]
Paleontology or palaeontology is the scientific study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments. As a "historical science" it attempts to explain causes rather than conduct experiments to observe effects. Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as the 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier's work on comparative anatomy, and developed rapidly in the 19th century. The term itself originates from Greek παλαιός, palaios, i.e. "old, ancient", ὄν, on, i.e. "being, creature" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "speech, thought, study". Paleontology lies on the border between biology and geology, and shares with archaeology a border that is difficult to define. It now uses techniques drawn from a wide range of sciences, including biochemistry, mathematics and engineering. Use of all these techniques has enabled paleontologists to discover much of the evolutionary history of life, almost all the way back to when Earth became capable of supporting life, about 3,800 million years ago. As knowledge has increased, paleontology has developed specialized sub-divisions, some of which focus on different types of fossil organisms while others study ecology and environmental history, such as ancient climates.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
The study of early forms of life through fossil remains.
Translations for paleontology
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- علم المتحجراتArabic
- paleontologiaCatalan, Valencian
- paleontologi, kaji fosilMalay
- paleontologiNorwegian Nynorsk
Get even more translations for paleontology »
Find a translation for the paleontology definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these paleontology definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"paleontology." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 2 Mar. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/paleontology>.