The results of paleontology have also contributed to other areas of evolutionary theory such as the theory of punctuated equilibrium.
Paleontology represents the desire of human beings to better understand the history of life on Earth, and in so doing to better understand themselves and the world around them, including fundamental principles governing changes.
Paleontology (palaeontology or palжontology) is the scientific study of life forms that existed in the earth's distant past as revealed though the examination of fossils of plants, animals, and other organisms.
The major subdivisions of paleontology include paleozoology (animals), paleobotany (plants), and micropaleontology (microfossils).
Two twentieth century developments in geology had a big effect on paleontology.
Charles Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species in 1859 was a watershed event in paleontology.
The organized study of paleontology dates from the late eighteenth century.
The primary economic importance of paleontology lies in the use of fossils to determine the age and nature of the rocks that contain them or the layers above or below.
Hence, paleontology overlaps with geology (the study of rocks and rock formations) as well as with botany, biology, zoology, and ecology.
Cuvier’s ground breaking work in paleontology and comparative anatomy lead to the wide spread acceptance of the reality of extinction (McGowan 2001).
At times, religious and scientific dogmatism have been reflected in the history of paleontology.
The 2nd half of the nineteenth century saw a rapid expansion of paleontology in North America.
Prominent names in invertebrate paleontology include Steven Stanley, Stephen Jay Gould, David Raup, and Jack Sepkoski, who have done much to expand the understanding of long-term patterns in the evolution of life on earth.
William Buckland, Richard Owen, Gideon Mantell, Georges Cuvier, and Thomas Huxley were important early pioneers, in the field of paleontology.