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The Paleontology Portal
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fossil : preserved from a past geologic age — Webster

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Fossil is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants. The totality of fossils is known as the fossil record.

Paleontology is the study of fossils: their age, method of formation, and evolutionary significance. Specimens are usually considered to be fossils if they are over 10,000 years old. The oldest fossils are from around 3.48 billion years old to 4.1 billion years old. The observation in the 19th century that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led to the recognition of a geological timescale and the relative ages of different fossils. The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed scientists to quantitatively measure the absolute ages of rocks and the fossils they host.

There are many processes that lead to fossilization, including permineralization, casts and molds, authigenic mineralization, replacement and recrystallization, adpression, carbonization, and bioimmuration. — Wikipedia



Paleontology (American Museum of Natural History)
Dinosaurs Explained, YouTube Channel (American Museum of National History)
Eons, YouTube Channel (PBS)
Dinosaur Nerds, YouTube Channel (Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center)
Introduction to Palaeontology (wikiversity)
Introduction to Paleontology (Wikipedia)


Mary Anning, An Amazing Fossil Hunter (Smithsonian Magazine)


PBS Eons (YouTube Channel)

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Dinosaurs Explained (American Museum of National History
Strange Science: The Rocky Road to Modern Paleontology and Biology (Michon Scott)

Sciencespeak: Lazarus taxon (National Geographic)


Quotations Page


Kuban’s Guide to Natural History Museums on the Web (Glen J. Kuban)


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K-12 Educational Materials (University of California Museum of Paleontology)


Introduction to Paleontolgy (Professor Stuart Sutherland, The Great Courses)
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How to become a paleontologist (Environmental Science)


Paleontological Societies and Clubs (Glen J. Kuban)


Science News, Science Daily, NPR Archives







Paleo Humor: Laughs, Gaffes, and Funny Bones (Glen J. Kuban)



OEDILF: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form


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The increasingly realistic prospect of extinct animal zoos (Christine Ro, BBC)


Fictional Dinosaurs (List, Wikipedia)
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Dinosaurs in fiction (Category, Wikipedia)




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Fossils & Ruins News -- ScienceDaily Archaeology news. Articles on ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, ancient Greece and other civilizations.

  • Ancient mice discovered by climate cavers
    on September 24, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    The fossils of two extinct mice species have been discovered in caves in tropical Queensland by scientists tracking environment changes. […]

  • Birds' voiceboxes are odd ducks
    on September 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Birds' voiceboxes are in their chests instead of their throats like mammals and reptiles. Scientists aren't sure how or why birds evolved these unique voiceboxes, but a new study sheds some light on how they came about. Similarities in the windpipes of birds, crocodiles, cats, mice, and salamanders suggest that birds' weird voiceboxes might have arisen from a windpipe reinforcement. From this, scientists can learn about the sounds bird ancestors -- dinosaurs -- made. […]

  • Violence in pre-Columbian Panama exaggerated, new...
    on September 24, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    An oft-cited publication said a pre-Colombian archaeological site in Panama showed signs of extreme violence. A new review of the evidence strongly suggests that the interpretation was wrong. […]

  • The first predators and their self-repairing teeth
    on September 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    The earliest predators appeared on Earth 480 million years ago -- and they even had teeth which were capable of repairing themselves. A team of palaeontologists have been able to discover more about how these organisms were able to grow and regenerate their teeth. […]

  • Octopuses given mood drug 'ecstasy' reveal...
    on September 20, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or 'ecstasy,' scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree. […]