The Difference Between Archaeology and Paleontology (and the overlap, too) | Laurenwritesscience
This post is something of a PSA to address a pet peeve of mine, the general confusion in the media about the difference between scientists. Interpreting past environments. Chrolonology: dating the past events. Man and animal relationships. Yet a new angle that archaeology offers: geomyths. The site also includes a useful glossary, special exhibits, catalogues of the museum's fossil collections, an events calendar, related links and background.
This is actually not a question I hear too often- mostly because I think lots of folks assume these two fields are kind of the same thing. Archaeology is the study of the material remains and other evidence of humans and their ancestors. Much of this involves studying artifacts. Things like projectile points most of which are not actually arrowheads, by the wayceramicsclothingbasketsbeadsnailsbricksglassand butchered or transported bones.
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Archaeologists are very careful in their excavations. For example, archaeologists keep notes about things like the color and texture of the soils in which artifacts are found and the ones where no artifacts appearwhich is also important to know. Taking careful, detailed field notes is important in both archaeology and paleontology. These, too, are part of the context. Does this piece of pottery match up with that one from a different area of the site?
These pottery pieces and the other artifacts that were found in the same layer with them were probably deposited at the same time. Is this shell pendant from a dark, stained soil that lines up with a bunch of other dark stains? Likely it was dropped when someone was digging postholes for the the wall whose logs have long since rotted out, leaving a line of stains in the soil. Someone used to live here. Someone built a wall.
And about that shell. Or is it from an animal that lives a few hundred miles away? Many people hear paleontology and instantly think dinosaurs.
You get the idea. Paleontology is the study of animals or plants or other living things that have died and hopefully been preserved in some way.
Sometimes bones or shells or leaves — in other words, the remains of living things — are what actually gets fossilized. I will send the link to the blog to all schools on my database!!
Correlation through incidental intermediates I have layers of beetles ; over there are layers of beetles and snails ; and over THERE are snails in many think layers of lava ; I can correlate my beetles!
Even if their subject matters differ, many of their techniques are mutually familiar. I have to be careful to distinguish between the various groups of doctors, anatomists and heid-shrinkers.
A quick correction — palaeontologists study extinct animals, not exclusively dinosaurs. This includes those who specialise in invertebrate palaeontology shellsfish, etc and those who study megafauna such as mastodons and so on.
It can also include those who study more recently extinct species, such as the Thylocene Tasmanian Tiger or Dodo. Chris- I was hoping that from the asterisk that it was clear that I was being flippant with regards to the definition of what a palaeontologist studies, although a quick census of universities and museums will probably confirm that vertebrate palaeontologists outnumber those who specialise in shellfish etc.
Paleontology vs. Archaeology vs. Anthropology | PAESTA
Particularly, where science feeds into public life. Not only does this mean that they are invisible but also the less sexy disciplines stagnate, invertebrate palaeontology systematics is a mess for example. In addition Web and school resources are poor on the subject too. Do you think this is a rum state of affairs or inevitable given how blue sky science can be significantly more appealing in the media and in society?
Those jackets with lots of pockets also appear occasionally, but they are usually worn by people who are trying very hard to look like field palaeontologists.What Is The Difference Between Archeology And Paleontology?