The main forms of evidence concerning ancient life are body fossils, trace fossils, and geochemical evidence that has helped researchers unravel the development of life before there were animals large enough to leave body fossils.

Paleontology is the study of prehistoric living creatures, which includes dinosaurs as well as prehistoric plants, animals, fish, insects, fungi, and even bacteria. Paleontologists investigate the fossilized record of life on Earth.

Paleontologists will not run out of work very soon because more than 99% of all animals that have ever existed are extinct. Working out the links between ancient animals and plants and their extant descendants is a part of the paleontological study. Australia, South Africa, South America, India, and Antarctica all have many fossil sources.

The scientists who study fossils may measure, draw, and photograph the fossils found. Later, when they study with the fossils in their laboratory, they utilize this knowledge. Charles Darwin revolutionized our perceptions of living organisms. Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection discovered and connected all of the life sciences together and explained how living things evolved and adapted.

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I want to be a paleontologist

I am a student of Class X. I want to be a paleontologist. What should I take in class 11? Are there any institutions in India or even abroad for paleontology? What courses should I take? Is there scope in India for this?

Paleontology is more than just dinosaurs! It is the study of the history of life on Earth as reflected in the fossil record. Fossils are the remains or traces of organisms (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and other single-celled living things) that lived up to billions of years ago. It’s an interdisciplinary field involving geology, archaeology, chemistry, biology and anthropology.

To enter this field, take physics, chemistry and biology in 10+2. Then go for graduation followed by a Master’s degree in paleontology, geology or earth science. A doctoral degree or Ph.D. is almost always necessary for any serious professional career in paleontology, especially as a researcher or a professor.

Paleontologists are employed by both public and private sectors. Museums hire them to locate and identify fossilized remains for exhibits and for additional research. There they work as curators, researchers, collection managers, etc. They may work with geologists for identifying fossils, giving programmes or tours, consulting with industry. A few work for oil companies or in government as consultants helping to solve geological problems.


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