Palaeontology

Definition

Palaeontology is the study of prehistoric species, mostly ones that are extinct. It focuses primarily on fossil data, using a variety of physical, chemical and biological techniques to analyse them.

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    The relative roles of biological and environmental factors in driving evolutionary change have been unclear. Now fossil analysis shows that their action depends on where an animal group is in its evolutionary trajectory.

    • Charles R. Marshall
    Nature 552, 35–37

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