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(pā'lēəntŏl`əjē) [Gr.,= study of early beings], science of the life of past geologic periods based on fossil remains. Knowledge of the existence of fossilsfossil,
remains or imprints of plants or animals preserved from prehistoric times by the operation of natural conditions. Fossils are found in sedimentary rock, asphalt deposits, and coal and sometimes in amber and certain other materials.
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 dates back at least to the ancient Greeks, who appear to have regarded them as the remains of various mythological creatures. Because few fossils are found in rock older than the late PrecambrianPrecambrian,
name of a major division of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale, table), from c.5 billion to 570 million years ago. It is now usually divided into the Archean and Proterozoic eons. Precambrian time includes 80% of the earth's history.
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, paleontology is generally concerned with only the past 600 million years. Although paleontology deals with early forms of life, it is usually treated as a part of geologygeology,
science of the earth's history, composition, and structure, and the associated processes. It draws upon chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, and mathematics (notably statistics) for support of its formulations.
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 rather than of biologybiology,
the science that deals with living things. It is broadly divided into zoology, the study of animal life, and botany, the study of plant life. Subdivisions of each of these sciences include cytology (the study of cells), histology (the study of tissues), anatomy or
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, as the environment of the animals and plants cannot be properly understood and reconstructed without knowledge of the age, structure, and composition of the rocks in which their remains are found. In addition, fossil evidence is often used for the establishment of the ages of rock strata. Micropaleontology, the study of microscopic fossils, is especially important for the recognition of subsurface strata in drilling for petroleum. The field of paleontology is often divided into paleobotany, the study of ancient plants (also known as paleophytology); palynology, which focuses on ancient spores, pollen, and microorganisms; and paleozoology, the study of ancient animals, which can further be broken down into invertebrate (no backbones, e.g., clams) or vertebrate (with backbone, e.g., dinosaurs) studies. Paleontology as a science separate from geology dates from the 19th cent., especially from the work of French naturalist Georges CuvierCuvier, Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron
, 1769–1832, French naturalist, b. Montbéliard, studied at the academy of Stuttgart. From 1795 he taught in the Jardin des Plantes.
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 on fossils and from the publication of the evolutionary hypothesis of Charles DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert,
1809–82, English naturalist, b. Shrewsbury; grandson of Erasmus Darwin and of Josiah Wedgwood. He firmly established the theory of organic evolution known as Darwinism.
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See U. N. Lanham, The Bone Hunters (1973); S. J. Gould, The History of Paleontology (1980); R. M. Black, The Elements of Paleontology (1989); S. Parker, Practical Paleontologist (1991).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the science dealing with the life of past geological periods as known from fossil remains, traces of the life activities of fossil organisms, and oryctocenoses (seeORYC-TOCENOSIS). Modem paleontology may be defined as the science dealing with individual organisms, entire populations, and ecosystems of the geological past.

In biology, paleontology precedes neontology, that is, the science of the extant organic world. Although paleontology is a biological science, it arose in close connection with geology, which extensively uses paleontological data and, at the same time, is the principal source of information about the environment. Thus, paleontology is a science dealing with various aspects of the development of past organisms. Without paleontology it is impossible to understand the geological history of the biosphere or, more accurately, the succession of paleobio-spheres and the establishment of the present biosphere.

Principal subdivisions. The chief subdivisions of paleontology are paleozoology (the study of fossil animals) and paleobotany (the study of fossil plants). The first is divided into invertebrate and vertebrate paleontology; the second includes paleoalgology (the study of fossil algae), paleopalynology (the study of pollen and spores of ancient plants), and paleocarpology (the study of seeds of ancient plants). Paleomycology, the study of fossil remains of fungi, occupies a special place among the paleontological disciplines. This is because fungi, in the opinion of many scientists, form an independent kingdom among Eucaryota. Mi-cropaleontology studies ancient microorganisms (benthic protozoans, Ostracoda, various zooplankton and phytoplankton, and bacteria), the dispersed remains of large animals and plants, and trace fossils (conodonts, scolecodonts, otoliths, chitinozoa). The study of the relationships of organisms of the past with each other and with their environment, in terms of their population and their distribution in ancient basins, led to the development of paleoecology. Paleobiogeography is concerned with discovering, on the basis of the evolution of climates, tectonics, and other processes, the principles of geographic distribution of organisms of the past. Taphonomy and biostratonomy study the principles of the burial and distribution of fossil remains of organisms (oryctocenoses) in sedimentary strata; paleoichnology studies traces of life activity. Other words with the prefix “paleo” often designate further divisions of taxonomic paleontology—for example, paleoentomology (ancient insects), paleomalacology (ancient mollusks), paleoichthyology (ancient fishes), and pa-leoornithology (ancient birds). The possibility of reconstructing the structure of tissues, morphophysiological systems, and chemical makeup of ancient organisms led to the development of paleohistology, paleophysiology, paleoneurology, paleopathology, and other divisions of paleontology. The discovery of the chemical specificity of species and the origin of paleobio-chemistry made possible the study of molecular paleontology.

Historical outline. Information about petrifactions was known to such ancient philosopher-naturalists as Xenophanes, Xanthus, Herodotus, Theophrastus, and Aristotle. It was not until the 15th century that petrifactions were understood to be the remains of organisms—first among Chinese naturalists and then among such European scientists as Leonardo da Vinci, Girolamo Fracastoro, Bernard Palissy, and Agricola. However, most of these naturalists did not realize that petrifactions were remains of extinct organisms.

It appears that the Danish naturalist N. Steno (1669) and the English natural philosopher R. Hooke (published 1705) were among the first to speak of extinct species. In the mid-18th century, with the development of the ideas of M. V. Lomonosov (1763) in Russia, G. Buffon and Giraud-Soulavie in France, and J. Hutton in Great Britain, the concept of constant change in past organisms (the theory of development) and the significance of an actualistic approach, although elementary, gained more exponents. C. Linnaeus acknowledged the oneness of the taxonomy of fossils and that of extant organisms but completely rejected the idea of the mutability of species. Paleontology developed extensively in the beginning of the 19th century, after W. Smith (Great Britain) proved that the relative ages of geological strata could be determined according to petrifactions of invertebrates. Smith compiled the first geological map in 1794 on the basis of his discovery.

Paleontology developed as a scientific discipline at the same time as and in close connection with historical geology. The founder of both disciplines is considered to be G. Cuvier, who was especially active in these fields from 1798 to 1830. In 1808, Cuvier taught the first course at the Collège de France on the history of fossils. He founded vertebrate paleontology on the basis of a comprehensive comparative study of fossil mammalian bones. Paleobotany arose somewhat later, with the publication of The History of Fossil Plants by the French botanist Adolphe Brongniart. In 1811, Cuvier and the French geologist Alexandre Brongniart formulated the idea of index petrifactions in geology; they both classified fossil and extant organisms in a single system and supported the catastrophic theory. The term “paleontology” was first mentioned in 1822 by the French zoologist H. Du-crotay de Blainville. It came into common use only after Professor G. I. Fischer von Waldheim of Moscow University used the term in 1834 instead of the term “petromatognosia.” In France, A. D’Orbigny published works on paleontology in the 1840’s.

J. B. Lamarck, the creator of the first theory of evolution, was also essentially the founder of invertebrate paleontology. E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, another pre-Darwinian evolutionist, shared many of Lamarck’s views. As contemporaries of Cuvier, they were not free of his well-known fallacies and could not escape his dominating scientific authority. Predominant in paleontological thought of the first half of the 19th century was the immutability of species and of successive sharp changes in their existence. Together with the enormous amount of purely descriptive material compiled in Great Britain, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, and Russia, these general concepts were further developed by the Swiss geologist and paleontologist L. Agassiz, the English geologist A. Sedgwick, and, especially, the French paleontologist D’Orbigny (1840). It is with D’Orbigny that the catastrophic hypothesis in its most developed form should be associated. His theory that there were 27 stages in the earth’s history was based on data dealing with 18,000 species. However, a positive result of the catastrophic theory was the development of stratigraphic paleontology and the completion by the 1840’s of the total stratigraphic scale of the earth. In Russia, paleontological research of the pre-Darwinian period was conducted by Fischer von Waldheim, E. I. Eikhval’d, Kh. I. Pander, S. S. Kutorga, and P. M. Iazykov. The outstanding work in stratigraphy, paleontology, and zoology by K. F. Rul’e, a predecessor of C. Darwin, occupied a special place. Rul’e completely rejected the ideas of creationism.

The 1860’s witnessed an entirely new stage in the development of paleontology. Its beginning was marked by C. Darwin’s formulation of the most comprehensive theory of evolution in his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859). Darwin’s theory greatly influenced all subsequent development of the natural sciences. Although many 19th-century paleontologists, such as J. Barrande in Bohemia, H. Milne-Edwards and A. Godry in France, and R. Owen in Great Britain, were not Darwinists, the ideas of evolution spread rapidly in paleontology and were further developed. The works of the English naturalist T. Huxley, the Austrian geologist and paleontologist M. Neumair, and the American paleontologist E. Cope have elucidated the laws of evolution. However, there is no doubt that the most important role in the history of paleontology was played by V. O. Kovalevskii, who, with complete justification, is called the founder of modern evolutionary paleontology. It was only after Kovalevskii’s work in vertebrate paleontology and Neumair’s work in invertebrate paleontology that Darwinism acquired the paleontologically substantiated base that the evolutionary theory had lacked. Vertebrate paleontology proved to be particularly significant in elucidating the theoretical problems of evolution in connection with the structural complexity not only of extant vertebrates but also of their fossil ancestors.

On the basis of the evolutionary theory, important paleontological generalizations were formulated by such followers of Kovalevskii as the Belgian paleontologist L. Dollo, the American paleontologist H. Osborn, and the German paleobiologist O. Abel. Evolutionary paleozoology was subsequently developed in Russia and then in the USSR by A. P. Karpinskii, S. N. Nikitin, A. P. Pavlov, N. I. Andrusov, M. V. Pavlova, P. P. Sushkin, A. A. Borisiak, N. N. Iakovlev, Iu. A. Orlov, L. S. Berg, A. P. Bystrov, I. A. Efremov, D. V. Obruchev, L. Sh. Davitashvili, and D. M. Rauzer-Chernousova. Evolutionary paleobotany was pursued by I. V. Palibin, A. N. Krishtofovich, and M. D. Zalesskii. The work of the Russian biologists A. N. Severtsov, I. I. Shmal’gauzen, V. N. Beklemishev, and D. M. Fedotov played a major role in the development of paleontology.

The results of 19th-century paleontological research were summed up in K. Zittel’s Guide (1876–93) and Foundations of Paleontology (1895). The final edition of the latter, which was completely revised by Soviet paleontologists and edited by A. N. Riabinin, was published in Russian in 1934 (invertebrates). The most important, completely comprehensive modern works on paleontology include Foundations of Paleontology (15 vols., 1958–64), which was edited by Iu. A. Orlov (Lenin Prize, 1967). A similar eight-volume work on paleozoology, edited by J. Piveteau, was published in France (1952–66). Publication of a 24-volume work on invertebrates, edited by R. Moore, was undertaken in the USA. Volumes were published from 1953 to 1969. After a short interruption, publication was resumed in 1970 under the editorship of C. Teichert.

Major directions in the development of paleontology and its connections with other sciences. As a biological science, paleontology is most closely connected with such disciplines as population genetics, developmental biology, cytology, biochemistry, and biometrics. Paleontologists use some of the methods of each of these disciplines. The latest methods, involving the use of various types of radiation, chemical analysis, and electron and scanning microscopy, are being used increasingly in paleontological research. Close ties with comparative anatomy, morphology, and animal and plant taxonomy have been traditional. Mor-phofunctional analysis and study of the morphogenesis of skeletal structures of fossils lead to ever closer ties with physiology, embryology, and biomechanics. The comparative-historical study of ancient organisms, which requires use of the method of actualism, closely relates paleontology with ecology, biogeocenology, biogeography, hydrobiology, and oceanography. Studies of the life in ancient seas and in the modern World Ocean have made possible discovery of a number of archaic organisms, or “living fossils,” such as Latimeria, Neopilina, and Pogono-phora. Most important is the study, in connection with the evolutionary doctrine, of the historical development of organisms in certain phyla (genetic series of organisms) and in a succession of ecological systems.

Neither phylogenesis nor ecogenesis can be sufficiently understood without the results of paleontological and neontologic research. The history of phylogenetic constructions, from the first purely neontologic diagram of E. Haeckel in 1866 to modern specific and general constructions of phylogeny, shows how misleading these diagrams can be without sufficient paleontological knowledge. At the same time, it is important for paleontologists to understand such phenomena as parallelism in variability (seeHOMOLOGOUS SERIES, LAW OF), paraphilia, and intraspecific polymorphism, which are important in the formulation of ideas about the origin and genealogy of biological taxa. Paleontology and neontology are closely united by the general and most important biological problems of species formation with the factors, rates, and directions of evolution.

Paleontology has received considerably more from neontology than neontology has from it. Paleontologists have an inexhaustible amount of evidence concerning the evolutionary process (no less than 100,000 species of fossil invertebrates alone are known), and neontologists, even in the fields of comparative anatomy and taxonomy, are still far from having absorbed that fund of information. Neontology has obviously underestimated the length of the evolutionary process, which, from the point of view of chemical and biological evolution, has been traced back 3.5 billion years. The history of Procaryota and Eucaryota and the development of multicellular organisms (Metaphyta and Metazoa) have already been fixed in paleontology by isotope geochronology. Finally, the evolutionary system itself and the genealogical relationships of the organic world may now be reconstructed in the light of paleontological research on the prephanerozoic and phanerozoic periods. Many problems dealt with in neontology, such as the rates and directions of evolution and the origin of higher taxa of the organic world, would not have arisen without paleontology.

The significance of paleontology in the earth sciences is no less great. Geology became an accepted historical earth science only with the emergence of stratigraphy at the turn of the 19th century. At this time, a method of determining the relative chronology of geological formations according to fossil remains of organisms (index fossils) was developed, and geological mapping of rocks, not according to their pétrographie characteristics but according to age subdivisions of the layers of the earth’s crust, became possible. Stratigraphic correlation, according to paleontological and auxiliary data of isotope chronometry and other physical methods of comparing ancient deposits, was fundamental to progress in geology. The evolutionary theory, which based itself on the theory of natural selection and on the concept of irreversibility of the evolutionary process, was of major significance in the application of paleontology to stratigraphic geology. Geology itself had no such theory. The French paleontologist and geologist A. Oppel, who studied Jurassic deposits of Central Europe, first proposed a zonal paleontological comparison of deposits and, although zonal stratigraphy was not applied to the entire stratigraphic scale, the concept became a leading one in the subsequent perfection of the stratigraphic scale and the regional stratigraphic correlation. It is here that biostratigraphy originated, although the term itself was proposed by Dollo only in 1909. Paleontology introduced biochronology into geology, and the modern chronostratigraphic scale is, strictly speaking, a biostratigraphic scale. The paleontological method has proved to be the most universal for substantiating Stratigraphic subdivisions and discovering the correlations between their biological characteristics (periodicity or stages of development of the organic world), as well as for standardizing biostratigraphic boundaries, which has become the most important international task of stratigraphy.

Ecological monitoring greatly influences the paleontological method in regional stratigraphy, whereas biogeographic monitoring is having the same effect on interregional and planetary correlation of deposits. Also revealed is the close connection of paleontology with the theory of sedimentary facies (the determination of which is impossible without paleontological data), with lithology and sedimentology in general, and with the geochemistry and biogeochemistry of sedimentary rock. Paleontological data play a major role in all paleogeographic reconstructions, including paleoclimatological ones (the seasonality and climatic zonality according to the skeletal structure of animals, paleoden-drology, and the geography of ancient organisms).

Lithofacies maps, along with their value in historical geology, are becoming increasingly important in locating valuable deposits of coal, petroleum, gas, bauxites, salts, phosphorites, and other minerals. Ancient organisms played an important rock-forming role, resulting in the formation of many types of carbonate and siliceous rocks and beds of various caustobioliths, as well as in the occurrence of phosphates and other mineralizations. These formations are related either directly with the primary physiological chemistry of ancient organisms or with subsequent adsorption processes in organogenic conglomerates. The organic world of the geological past and its direct participation in the foremost processes of the biosphere are responsible for the earth’s energy potential.

The connection between paleontology and geology is indissoluble because the latter is the principal source of paleontological information and of information concerning the living environment of past periods. Without such information, the development of paleontology and neontology would be impossible. Geology continues to be the major user of paleontological data, employing them to solve newer and more complicated problems that require a mastery of contemporary biological and geological theory.

Scientific societies and institutions. There are a large number of paleontological societies. They include the Paleontographical Society in Great Britain (founded in 1847; since 1957, the Paleontological Association), the Swiss Paleontological Society (1874), the paleontological section of the Vienna Zoological and Botanical Society (1907), the paleontology section of the Geological Society of America (1908; since 1931, the Society of Economic Paleontology and Mineralogy and the Paleontological Society), the Paleontological Society of Germany (1912), the Russian (now All-Union) Paleontological Society (1916), and the Paleontological Society of China (1929). The Moscow Society of Naturalists, whose paleontology section was founded in 1940, plays a large role. There are paleontological societies in almost all developed countries and in a number of developing countries. Since 1933 these societies have been members of the International Paleontological Union (IPU), which became especially active after the general assemblies in New Delhi in 1964, in Prague in 1968, and in Montreal in 1972. (The assemblies are held concurrently with sessions of the International Geological Congress.) The IPU is affiliated with the International Union of Geological Sciences and the International Union of Biological Sciences. It has a large number of corporative members and specialized international research groups (corresponding commissions and committees), which organize most of the international activities of the IPU (symposia, conferences) and are supported by national paleontological committees (as in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and other countries), geological committees (as in the USSR), and universities. The IPU unites the scientific interests of more than 6,000 paleontologists, of whom about 40 percent are Soviet. The Soviet division of the IPU constitutes a part of the continental division, and its president is vice-president of the IPU.

Paleontological research is conducted chiefly in institutions of national geological services and companies, in geological and biological institutes of academies of sciences, in mining and geological institutions of higher learning, and in museums. There are paleontology departments at the British Museum, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the National Museum in Prague, the Sen-ckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main, the National Museum of Natural History in Budapest, the Paleontological Museum in Oslo, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. In the USSR, museums having departments of paleontology include the F. N. Chernyshev Museum of the Central Scientific Research Geological Prospecting Institute in Leningrad and the Paleontology Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in Kiev. Also important are the paleontology departments and laboratories of many universities, including the universities of California, Kansas, and Michigan in the USA; the universities in Adelaide, Canberra, and Sydney in Australia; the universities of Lund and Stockholm in Sweden; the University of Tokyo in Japan; the University of Madrid in Spain; the University of Witwatersrand in the Republic of South Africa; and the University of La Plata in Argentina. Soviet universities with departments of paleontology include Moscow University, Leningrad University, and the universities of Kiev and Tomsk.

Among the institutes specializing in paleontology are the paleontological institutes of the academies of sciences of the USSR and the Georgian SSR, the Bonn Paleontological Institute (Federal Republic of Germany), the Paris Institute of Human Paleontology and the Institute of Paleontology of the Paris Museum of Natural History in France, the Paleobotanical Institute of India, the Institute of Paleozoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Paleobiological Institute in Uppsala (Sweden), and the Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology Institute and the Geological and Paleontological Institute of the People’s Republic of China. Humboldt University (Berlin) and the universities of Vienna, Milan, and Modena have paleontological institutes; a number of universities in the Federal Republic of Germany (Göttingen, Tübingen, Kiel, Stuttgart, Marburg, Münster) have institutes of geology and paleontology.

The beginnings of paleontological research in Russia coincided with the founding of the Geological Committee in St. Petersburg in 1882. In 1912 the committee established government positions for paleontologists, including N. N. Iakovlev, M. D. Zalesskii, and A. A. Borisiak. (Remains of “pre-Flood animals” had been collected earlier in Peter I’s Kunstkamera.) In 1917 a large paleontological section, the first in the country, was set up in the Geological Committee. That section, together with the Russian Paleontological Society (1916), the Mining Institute, the country’s first subdepartment of paleontology at Petrograd University (organized in 1919 by M. E. Ianishevskii), and the osteologic department of the Geological and Mineralogi-cal Museum of the Academy of Sciences, became centers for paleontological research. They provided information to the daughter institutions of the Geological Committee (for example, the All-Union Scientific Research Geological Prospecting Institute) and to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

In 1930, Borisiak founded the first specialized paleozoological institute (the present-day Paleontological Institute) in Leningrad. The institute did its most valuable research and expeditionary work after its move, along with the rest of the Academy of Sciences, to Moscow, where it enlisted the talents of paleontologists working in that city. However, the furthering of paleontological research can be primarily credited to the geological institutions of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR, the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and the academies of sciences of various Union republics; to various bureaus; and to the geology departments of universities.

Of greatest significance was the creation of a network of mi-cropaleontological laboratories (the first of which was in the Geological Oil Exploration Institute—now the All-Union Scientific Research Geological Prospecting Institute—in Leningrad in 1930); the departments of paleontology and biostratigraphy in the Geological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Moscow), the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Siberian branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Novosibirsk), the Institute of Geology of the Academy of Sciences of the Estonian SSR (Tallinn), and the Institute of Geology of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR (Alma-Ata); and numerous analogous subdivisions of other central and regional institutions of the Academy of Sciences and the Geological Survey of the USSR. There also are departments of paleontology and biostratigraphy at various biological institutions (the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Leningrad, the biological institutes of the Far Eastern branch of the Academy of Sciences in Vladivostok) and at geographic institutions (the Institute of Geography and the Institute of Oceanography of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow).

Soviet paleontologists are affiliated with more than 200 institutions, of which approximately 90 percent are connected with earth sciences. Fundamentally significant in the coordination of paleontological research are the annual sessions of the All-Union Paleontological Society in Leningrad, which attract as many as 600 participants. The Scientific Council of the department of general biology of the Academy of Sciences, dealing with the topic “pathways and principles of the historical development of animals and plants,” unites all specialized paleontological commissions and holds plenary sessions in Moscow once every five years. The All-Union Scientific Research Geological Institute coordinates over a period of many years the work of territorial geological administrations.

Periodicals. The most important specialized publications on paleontology in the USSR include Paleontologicheskii zhurnal (since 1959), Ezhegodnik Vsesoiuznogo paleontologicheskogo obshchestva (since 1917), Trudy (proceedings of the annual sessions of the Paleontological Society, since 1957), Paleontologiia SSSR (since 1935), and the numerous monograph series on paleontology issued by many institutes.

Foreign periodicals include Acta palaeontologica polonica (Warsaw, since 1956), Palaeontologia Polonica (Warsaw, since 1929), Acta palaeontologica sinica (Peking, since 1962), Verte-brata Palasiatica (Peking, since 1957), Palaeontologia Sinica (Peking, since 1922), Rozpravy: Ústředniho ústavu geologickeho (Prague, since 1927), Annales de paléontologie (Paris, since 1906) and Revue de micropaléontologie (Paris, since 1958). Others are Bulletins of American Paleontology (Ithaca-New York, since 1895), Journal of Paleontology (Tulsa, since 1927), Micropaleon-tology (New York, since 1955), Palaeontographica Americana (Ithaca, since 1916), Palaeontographical Society Monographs (London, since 1847), and Palaeontology (Oxford, since 1957).

Also well known are Palaeobiologica (Vienna, 1928–45), Pa-laeogeography, palaeoclimatology, paleoecology (Amsterdam, since 1965), Palaeontographia italica (Pisa, since 1895), Rivista italiana di paleontologia e stratigrafia (Milan, since 1895), Pala-eontologische Abhandlungen (Berlin, since 1965), Palaeontogra-phica (Stuttgart, since 1846), Palaeontologische Zeitschrift (Stuttgart, since 1914), Senckenbergiana Lethaea (Freiburg-Munich, since 1919), and Biomineralisation (Stuttgart-New York, since 1970). Others include Palaeontologia indica (Delhi, since 1957), Journal of Palaeontological Society of India (Luck-now, since 1956), Lethaia (New York-London, since 1968), Palaeontologia mexicana (Mexico, since 1954), Palaeontologia africana (Johannesburg, since 1963), Paleontological Bulletins (Wellington, since 1913), and Ameghiniana (Buenos Aires, since 1957).

Numerous articles on paleontology appear in general periodicals dealing with geology, zoology, and botany. The present level of paleontological research may be evaluated by referring to Proceedings of the International Paleontological Union (Warsaw, since 1972), International Geological Congress Sect. Paleontology (Montreal, 1972), and the proceedings of other national or international paleontological congresses in the USSR, USA, France, Great Britain and other countries. A permanent section on paleontology appears in the journal of abstracts of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Technical Information (1954–73).


Borisiak, A. A. V. O. Kovalevskii: Ego zhizn’ i nauchnye trudy. Leningrad, 1928.
Davitashvili, L. Sh. Istoriia evoliutsionnoi paleontologii ot Darvina do nashikh dnei Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Krishtofovich, A. N. Istoriia paleobotaniki v SSSR. Moscow, 1956.
Pavlov, A. P. Polveka v istorii nauki ob iskopaemykh organizmakh. Moscow, 1897.
Zittel, K. Geschichte der Geologie und Paläontologie bis Ende des XIX Jahrhunderts. Munich-Leipzig, 1899.
Drushchits, V. V., and O. P. Obrucheva. Paleontologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Metodika paleontologicheskikh issledovanii Moscow, 1973. (Translated from English.)
Osnovy paleontologii: Spravochnik dlia paleontologov i geologov SSSR [vols.] 1–15. Moscow, 1958–64.
Paleontologiia bespozvonochnykh. Moscow, 1962.
Glaessner, M. F. Principles of Micropalaeontology. New York-London, 1963.
Müller, A. H. Lehrbuch der Paläozoologie, vols. 1–3. Jena, 1957–70.
Olson, E. C. Vertebrate Paleozoology. New York-London-Sydney, 1971.
Raup, D. M., and S. M. Stanley. Principles of Paleontology. San Francisco, 1971.
Traité de paléontologie, vols. 1–7. Published under the direction of J. Riveteau. Paris, 1952–69.
Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Edited by R. C. Moore. Lawrence, Kan., 1953–69. Edited by C. Teichert, 2nd ed. Lawrence, Kan., 1970–72.
General Works
Borisiak, A. A. Osnovnye problemy evoliutsionnoi paleontologii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Davitashvili, L. Sh. Prichiny vymiraniia organizmov. Moscow, 1969.
Krasilov, V. A. Paleoekologiia nazemnykh rastenii. Vladivostok, 1972.
Paleontologiia. Moscow, 1972.
Paleopalinologiia, vols. 1–3. Leningrad, 1966.
Sovremennye problemy paleontologii Moscow, 1971.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Osnovy evoliutsionnoi morfologii pokrytosemennykh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Proiskhozhdenie nazemnykh pozvonochnykh. Moscow, 1964.
Atlas of Palaeobiogeography. Edited by A. Hallam. Amsterdam, 1973.
Brooks, J., and G. Shaw. Origin and Development of Living Systems. London-New York, 1973.
Evolution and Environment. Edited by E. T. Drake. New Haven-London, 1968.
Floristics and Paleofloristics of Asia and Eastern North America. Edited by A. Graham. Amsterdam, 1972.
Kuźnicki, L., and A. Urbanek. Zasady nauki o ewolucji, vols. 1–2. Warsaw, 1967–70.
Lehman, J.-P. Les Preuves paléontologiques de l’évolution. Paris, 1973.
Organisms and Continents Through Time. London, 1973.
Proceedings of the North American Paleontological Convention, vols. 1–2. Edited by E. L. Yochelson. Lawrence, Kan., 1970–71.
Termier, H., and G. Termier. Biologie et écologie des premieres fossiles. Paris, 1968.
Paleoecology and Taphonomy
Vialov, O. S. Sledy zhiznedeiatel’nosti organizmov i ikh paleontologi-cheskoe znachenie. Kiev, 1966.
Gekker, R. F. Vvedenie v paleoekologiiu. Moscow, 1957.
Efremov, I. A. Tafonomiia i geologicheskaia letopis’, book 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Organizm i sreda v geologicheskom proshlom. R. F. Gekker, editor in chief. Moscow, 1966.
Sreda i zhizn’ v geologicheskom proshlom. Novosibirsk, 1973.
Iakovlev, N. N. Organizm i sreda, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Ager, D. V. Principles of Paleoecology. New York-London, 1963.
Reyment, R. A. Introduction to Quantitative Paleoecology. Amsterdam, 1971.
Schäfer, W. Aktuo-Paläontologie nach Studien in der Nordsee. Freiburg-Munich, 1972.
Trace Fossils. Edited by T. P. Crimes and J. C. Harrer. Liverpool, 1971.
Voprosy mikropaleontologii, issues 1–16. Moscow, 1956–73.
Fichier micropaléontologique général. Paris, 1943–71.
Pokorný, V. Grundzüge der zoologischen Micropaläontologie, vols. 1–2. Berlin, 1958.
Proceedings of the First International Conference on Planktonic Microfossils, vols. 1–2. Leiden, 1969.
Manuals and Bibliographies
Korobkov, I. A. Paleontologicheskie opisaniia, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1971.
Mayr, E. Printsipy zoologicheskoi sistematiki. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from English.)
Paleontologi Sovetskogo Soiuza. Manual compiled by I. E. Zanin. Leningrad, 1968.
Paleontologicheskii slovar’. Moscow, 1965.
Bzhelenko, L. K., L. N. Mitroshina, and A. A. Shevyrev. Paleozoologiia SSSR: Bibliografiia otechestvennoi literatury za 1917–1967 gg, books 1–2. Moscow, 1971–73.
Lehmann, U. Paläontologisches Wörterbuch. Stuttgart, 1964.
Directory of Palaeontologists of the World: 1972. Jerusalem, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The study of life of the past as recorded by fossil remains.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.