Paleontology
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PO_ILFossil_S.jpg


Paleontology, is the study of fossils, the past, about evolution, and about our place as beings in the universe. Paleontology uses skills from biology, geology, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, and sometimes even computer science to understand the processes that have led to the origination and eventual destruction of the different types of organisms since life came to be.

Subdivisions of Paleontology


Some subdivisions of paleontology are: Vertebrae Paleontology which mainly focuses on fossils of vertebrate from the earliest fish
es, to the ancestors of modern mammals. Invertebrate Paleontology deals with fossils of invertebrates such as mollusks, arthropods, and worms. Paleobotany is the study of fossilized plants, but traditionally included the study of fossilized algae and fungi. Rather than focusing on individual organisms, Paleocology examines the interactions between different organisms, such as their status in food chains, and the two-way interaction between the organisms and their environment. For example: The development of oxygenic photosynthesis by bacteria massively increased the productivity and diversity of ecosystems, and also caused the oxygenation of the atmosphere, which in turn was a prerequisite for the evolution of the most complex eucaryotic cells, from which all multicellular organisms are built. Paleontology, although sometimes treated as part of Paleoecology, focuses more on the history of Earth's climate and the mechanisms which have changed it – which have sometimes included evolutionary developments. For example: The rapid expansion of land plants in the Devonian period removed more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reducing the "Global Warming" effect and thus assisting in the cause of an ice age in the Carboniferous period.

Types of Fossils


Trace Fossil- Most commonly found on tracks or in burrows, but may also include fossil feces.
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Trace fossil- footprint

Trace fossil- footprint

Body Fossil- Most informative of all fossils. The most common type of body fossil are wood, bone, and shell.
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Sue the T-Rex at the Chicago Feild Museum

Sue the T-Rex at the Chicago Field Museum

Carbon Film- A thin film of carbon covers the usual insect or plant, preserving the delicate body tissue or other body parts.
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Flower Carbon Film

Flower Carbon Film





Paleontology Spiral Shell
Paleontology Spiral Shell

Paleontology Spiral Shell

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Palentologist with Prehistoric Aligator Skull

Paleontologist with Prehistoric Alligator Skull

The Geologic Time Spiral
The Geologic Time Spiral

The Geologic Time Spiral