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Palaeontology means, 'the study of old/ancient life'. It is a broad ranging science, which evolved from older sciences such as Comparative Anatomy, Geology and Zoology, during the 1820's under the scientific and natural history mastery of the British and French concurrently. Prehistoric animals are the central focus of the science, though Palaeontology encompasses all life in the broadest sense, meaning fields such as Palaeobotany are actually sub-fields of Palaeontology. Palaeontology is the study of old, ancient life of prehistoric times, reconstructing them and the world in which they lived – bringing fossils to life. Using countless techniques and academic principles, Palaeontologists unveil the mysteries of the arcane past, which give us anything up to warnings even, about what humanity may face in the future. For example, meteorite impacts that affected prehistoric palaeoecosystems, show us what could happen to us and hopefully how we could survive (as our own mammalian ancestors did 65.5 Million Years Ago)
Palaeontology is spelt 'PALAEONTOLOGY' by the British with the correct Oxford English Dictionary spelling, in that it has a second 'A' placed fourth letter in, which derives from Ancient Greek words that translate an appropriate meaning for the subject. Most European languages would also use a version of this Ancient Greek inspired name for the subject, with no omission of the second 'A'.
by The Palaeontologist October 16, 2011
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