What is a paleontologist?
A paleontologist is a scientist who studies the fossilized remains of all types of organisms (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and other unicellular living things) and who is interested in the history of organic life on earth. Specific work will vary based on the scope of the investigation or discovery and may involve close collaboration with archeology teams.
What does a paleontologist do?
A paleontologist resolves the relationships between extinct plants and animals and their relatives living today. They study fossils and use them to piece together pieces of the history that made up the earth and life on it. Fossils are defined as any trace of an ancient life form, and most fossils are several thousand to several million or billions of years old. By trying to understand past extinction events, they hope to apply their scientific conclusions to extinction in the modern world as the global climate and environment change.
Typical things a paleontologist does:
- Determine the location of the fossils.
- Excavations of sedimentary rock layers to locate fossils.
- Gather information about the fossils (age, location, etc.).
- Use special tools for digging (chisels, drills, picks, shovels, brushes).
- Evaluate all discoveries with special computer programs.
- Compare new data with existing data.
- Analyze the results in the laboratory.
- Determine the period of time the fossils were found.
- Share results with colleagues from other scientific disciplines.
Differences Between Paleontologists, Archaeologists, and Anthropologists:
Paleontologists: Study all life forms and all types of organisms.
Archaeologists: Study objects or artifacts made by humans.
Anthropologists: they study ancient cultures, societies, ways of life and languages.
What does a paleontologist’s workplace look like?
A paleontologist can work in museums and historical exhibits, oil, gas, and mining companies, government agencies, colleges, universities, and as a consultant. Many paleontologists travel the world to dig up and conserve fossils.
What is the difference between a geologist and a paleontologist?
A geologist is someone who is involved in researching the outer layer of the earth’s crust and working to understand the history of the planet we live on, better predict the future, and explain current events.
A paleontologist, on the other hand, examines the fossil remains in many types of organisms on the surface of the earth to …