Definition of paleontology in US English:

paleontology

noun

  • The branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants.

    • ‘Its biennial meetings in Strasbourg are major events in the geological calendar and the programmes include papers on most aspects of the Earth sciences, including palaeontology.’
    • ‘Not only is phylogeny important for understanding paleontology, but paleontology in turn contributes to phylogeny.’
    • ‘And the same objection can be raised against any of the historical sciences including astronomy, evolutionary biology, geology and palaeontology.’
    • ‘Wells synthesises the genetic evidence with current research in geology, palaeontology, archaeology, anthropology and linguistics to make a robust case for his account of the human journey.’
    • ‘Insect palaeontology depends on assigning fossils to extant taxa usually on the basis of wing characters.’
    • ‘There is more to paleontology than just using fossils to estimate the ages of rocks or their past environmental settings.’
    • ‘The sixty pages on palaeontology emphasize geology and stratigraphy and chiefly illustrate trilobites.’
    • ‘This is not a matter of altering paleontology to please molecular biology.’
    • ‘But there should be some mechanism that protects the rare fossils and the important sites that the science of palaeontology depends upon.’
    • ‘The nine cored boreholes, four of which encountered chert beds, provide evidence of the stratigraphy, structure, palaeontology and depositional setting of the Rhynie and Windyfield cherts.’
    • ‘Be an expert on mineralogy, geology, paleontology or anything-ology.’
    • ‘Other officers are involved in specialist work on matters such as ornithology, marine and freshwater ecology, palaeontology and genetically modified organisms.’
    • ‘He envisioned the nature of science and understood the roles of palaeontology, zoological geography, and animal psychology.’
    • ‘His conclusion solves one of the greatest mysteries in the study of palaeontology or fossils.’
    • ‘In practice, the book is a rambling history of discoveries, geology, astronomy, palaeontology, chaos theory and graphing techniques with more than a few unqualified generalisations.’
    • ‘The integration of molecular biology and paleontology can address many large-scale questions.’
    • ‘In an attempt to resolve this conundrum, we have carried out multidisciplinary research involving field studies, radiometric dating, geochemistry, palaeontology and palaeomagnetism.’
    • ‘Amongst the group were experts in environmental management, ecology, geology, palaeontology, climatology and economics.’
    • ‘Numerous recent studies in vertebrate paleontology have focused on reconstructing the ecology of terrestrial fossil communities.’
    • ‘After publication of the palaeomagnetic results, other field studies have supported this hypothesis on the basis of palaeontology and stratigraphy and matching of Devonian palaeocurrents and structural patterns.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from paleo- + Greek onta ‘beings’ (neuter plural of ōn, present participle of einai ‘be’) + -logy.

Pronunciation

paleontology

/ˌpālēənˈtäləjē//ˌpeɪliənˈtɑlədʒi/