Palaeontology sentence example
Palaeontology is the study of the fossils found in the various strata of which the earth is composed.
Palaeontology connected with comparative anatomy by Cuvier.
They may be regarded as " macrourous " Xiphosura; that is to say, Xiphosura in which the nomomeristic number of eighteen From Zittel's Palaeontology.
Zittel, American edition of his Palaeontology (the Macmillan Co., New York), where ample references to the literature of Trilobitae and Eurypteridae will be found; also references to literature of fossil Scorpions and Spiders; 23.
In recent years the science of vegetable palaeontology has been given the distinct name of Palaeobotany, so that " palaeontology e' among biologists mainly refers to zoology; but historically the two cannot be disconnected.Advertisement
Therefore adaptation is the central principle of modern palaeontology in its most comprehensive sense.
This conception of the science and its possibilities is the result of very gradual advances since the beginning of the 19th century in what is known as the method of palaeontology.
Progress in these two lines is by no means uniform; while, for example, palaeontology enjoyed a sudden advance early in the 19th century through the discoveries and researches of Cuvier, guided by his genius as a comparative anatomist, it was checked by his failure as a natural philosopher.
In future the philosophic method of palaeontology must continue to advance step by step with exploration; it would be a reproach to later generations if they did not progress as far beyond the philosophic status of Cuvier, Owen and even of Huxley and Cope, as the new materials represent an advance upon the material opportunities which came to them through exploration.
To set forth how best to do our thinking, rather than to follow the triumphs achieved in any particular line of exploration, and to present the point we have now reached in the method or principles of palaeontology, is the chief purpose of this article.Advertisement
The illustrations will be drawn both from vertebrate and invertebrate palaeontology.
The subject will be treated in its biological aspects, because the relations of palaeontology to historical and stratigraphic geology are more appropriately considered under the article Geology.
Political troubles and the dominating influence of Werner's speculations checked palaeontology in Germany, while under the leadership of Lamarck and Cuvier France came to the fore.
Lamarck (1744-1829) was the founder of invertebrate palaeontology.
The treatise which laid the foundation for all subsequent invertebrate palaeontology was his memoir, Sur les fossiles des environs de Paris..Advertisement
Cuvier (1769-1832) is famous as the founder of vertebrate palaeontology, and with Alexandre Brongniart (1770-1847) as the author of the first exact contribution to stratigraphic geology.
Following Cuvier's Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles, the rich succession of Tertiary mammalian life was gradually revealed to France through the explorations and descriptions of such authors as Croizet, Jobert, de Christol, Eymar, Pomel and Lartet, during a period of rather dry, systematic work, which included, however, the broader generalizations of Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (1778-1850), and culminated in the comprehensive treatises on Tertiary palaeontology of Paul Gervais (1816-1879).
Non-committal as regards evolution, he vastly broadened the field of vertebrate palaeontology by his descriptions of the extinct fauna of England, of South America (including especially the great edentates revealed by the voyage of the " Beagle "), of Australia (the ancient and modern marsupials) and of New Zealand (the great struthious birds).
His contributions on the Mesozoic reptiles of Great Britain culminated in his complete rearrangement and classification of this group, one of his greatest services to palaeontology.
The history of invertebrate palaeontology during the second period is more closely connected with the rise of historic geology and stratigraphy, especially with the settlement of the great and minor time divisions of the earth's history.Advertisement
He thus exerted a potent influence on palaeontology through his persistent advocacy of uniformitarianism, a doctrine with which Lamarck should also be credited.
This law of recapitulation, subsequently termed the " biogenetic law " by Ernest Haeckel, was the greatest philosophic contribution of this period, and proved to be not only one of the bulwarks of the evolution theory but one of the most important principles in the method of palaeontology.
On the whole, as in the case of vertebrate palaeontology, the pre-Darwinian period of invertebrate palaeontology was one of rather dry systematic description, in which, however, the applications of the science gradually extended to many regions of the world and to all divisions of the kingdom of invertebrates.
It appears from comparison of the work in the two great divisions of vertebrate and invertebrate palaeontology made for the first time in this article that in accuracy of observation and in close philosophical analysis of facts the students of invertebrate palaeontology led the way.
This study of direct genetic series marked another great advance, and became possible in invertebrate palaeontology long before it was introduced among the vertebrates.Advertisement
This definitely directed evolution, or development in a few determinable directions, has since been termed " orthogenetic evolution," and is recognized by all workers in invertebrate palaeontology and phylogeny as fundamental because the facts of invertebrate palaeontology admit of no other interpretation.
Melchior Neumayr, the great Austrian palaeontologist, especially extended the philosophic foundations of modern invertebrate palaeontology, and traced a number of continuous genetic series (formenreihe) in successive horizons.
Huxley's development of the method of palaeontology should be studied in his collected memoirs (Scientific Memoirs of Thomas Henry Huxley, 4 vols., 1898).
Sclater, Alfred Russel Wallace and others, largely upon the present distribution of animal life, is now encountering through palaeontology a new and fascinating series of problems. In brief, it must connect living distribution with distribution in past time, and develop a system which will be in harmony with the main facts of zoology and palaeontology.
Thus palaeontology has brought to light an entirely new nomenclatural problem, which can only be solved by resolutely adopting an entirely different principle.
In following the discovery of the law of recapitulation among palaeontologists we have clearly stated the chief contribution of palaeontology to the science of ontogeny - namely, the correspondences and differences between FIG.
In the face of the continuous series of characters and types revealed by palaeontology, the Linnaean terminology, the individual order of development and the ancestral order of evolution.
The mutual relations of palaeontology and embryology and comparative anatomy as means of determining the ancestry of animals are most interesting.
In tracing the phylogeny, or ancestral history of organs, palaeontology affords the only absolute criterion on the successive evolution of organs in time as well as of (progressive) evolution in form.
The student must therefore resort to what may be called a tripod of evidence, derived from the available facts of embryology, comparative anatomy and palaeontology.
Step by step there have been established in palaeontology a number of laws relating to the evolution of the parts of animals which closely coincide with similar laws discovered by zoologists.
It should be remembered that palaeontology is the most unfavourable field of all for observation and demonstration of sudden saltations or mutations of character, because of the limited materials available for comparison and the rarity of genetic series.
Huxley's researches, and especially his share in the development of the philosophy of palaeontology, will be found in his essays, The Scientific Memoirs of Thomas Henry Huxley (4 vols., London, 1898-1902).
Among American contributions to vertebrate palaeontology, 'the development of Cope's theories is to be found in the volumes of his collected essays, The Origin of the Fittest (New York, 1887), and The Primary Factors of Organic Evolution (Chicago, 1896).
No other system of the United States brings out more clearly the value of palaeontology to palaeogeography.
The chief interest of the palaeontology of this system is in the plants, which were very like those of the Coal Measures of other parts of the earth and showed a high development, of forms that are now degenerate.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the palaeontology of the system is its paucity of fossils, especially in those parts of the system, such as the Red Beds, which are of terrestrial origin.
Palaeontology therefore throws no light on the question whether the metameric or the unsegmented Mollusca were the earlier.
His strong point consists in inferring the fact of evolution of some sort from the consideration of the evidence of comparative anatomy, palaeontology and embryology.
Moreover, many naturalists, especially those concerned with palaeontology, pointed to the existence of orthogenetic series, of long lines of ancestry, which displayed not a sporadic differentiation in every direction, but apparently a steady and progressive march in one direction.
The most modest and one of the most illustrious of the founders of modern palaeontology, Lartet's work had previously been publicly recognized by his nomination as an officer of the Legion of Honour; and in 1848 he had had the offer of a political post.
In 1857 he had been elected a foreign member of the Geological Society of London, and a few weeks before his death he had been made professor of palaeontology at the museum of the Jardin des Plantes.
A series of papers on the palaeontology of the island will be found in the several volumes of the Samml.
He died, however, on the 4th of May 1865, of inflammation of the lungs supervening on a severe cold contracted during excavation work at La Palisse, leaving a half-finished book, entitled Reliquiae Aquitanicae, being contributions to the Archaeology and Palaeontology of Perigord and the adjacent provinces of Southern France; this was issued in parts and completed at the expense of Christy's executors, first by Lartet and, after his death in 1870, by Professor Rupert Jones.
Contributions on the palaeontology of New South Wales are contained in the Rec. Austral.
The Phyllopoda, Ostracoda and Cirripedia (Thyrostraca) are represented in Cambrian or Silurian rocks by forms which seem to have resembled closely those now existing, so that palaeontology can have little light to throw on the mode of origin of these groups.
It is unnecessary to insist on the purely speculative character of the conclusions to be reached in this way, so long as they cannot be checked by the results of palaeontology, but, when this is recognized, such speculation is not only legitimate but necessary as a basis on which to build a natural classification.
Soon after this she returned to Russia with her husband, who was appointed professor of palaeontology at Moscow, where he died in 1883.
He early recognized the value of palaeontology in stratigraphical work; and he made important researches in the Rhenish mountains, in the Harz and Alpine districts.
In 1865 he was appointed professor of geology and palaeontology in the Berlin University, where he was eminently successful as a teacher; and when the Prussian Geological Survey was instituted in 1873 he was appointed co-director with Wilhelm Hauchecorne (1828-1900).
The evidence for the Pelmatozoic theory is supplied by palaeontology, embryology, the comparative anatomy of the classes, and a consideration of other phyla.
Palaeontology, so far as it goes, is a sure guide, but some of the oldest fossiliferous rocks yield remains of distinctly differentiated crinoids, asteroids and echinoids, so that the problem is not solved merely by collecting fossils.
To this point we shall recur; palaeontology, though it suggests a clue, does not furnish an actual link either between Echinoidea and Asteroidea, or between those classes and Pelmatozoa.
Thus inferences from embryonic development need to be checked by palaeontology, and supplemented by comparison of the anatomy of other living genera.
Lno sphaeridia J Book of Palaeontology (New York and London, 1899).
In connexion with the objection based upon the sub-boreal character of the regions which were the cradle of the Aryans, as proved by the so-called palaeontology of the Aryan languages, it may be observed that by the end of the Glacial, and during the earlier Lacustrine (Post-Glacial) period, the vegetation of Turkestan and of Central Asia was quite different from what it is now.
He was appointed professor of geology and palaeontology in Owens College, Manchester, in 1874.
In the present article the subject of vegetable palaeontology is treated from a botanical point of view.
However extraordinary it may appear, especially to those who bring the living forms only into focus, that opposition should still be made to Huxley's primary division of the vertebrates other than mammals into Sauropsida (birds and reptiles) and Ichthyopsida (batrachians and fishes), it is certain that recent discoveries in palaeontology have reduced the gap between batrachians and reptiles to such a minimum as to cause the greatest embarrassment in the attempt to draw a satisfactory line of separation between the two; on the other hand the hiatus between fishes and batrachians remains as wide as it was at the time Huxley's article Amphibia (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed.) was written.
Apparently there is here some gap in the line of descent of the horse, and may be suggested that the evolution took place, not as commonly supposed, in North America, but in eastern central Asia, of which the palaeontology is practically unknown; some support is given to this theory by the fact that the earliest species with which we are acquainted occur in northern India.
Gidley, Proper Generic Names of Miocene, Horses, p. 191; and the article PALAEONTOLOGY.
Palaeontology, the study of the fossils found in the various strata of which the earth is composed (see Palaeobotany).
As Cuvier founded the palaeontology of mammals and reptiles, so Louis Agassiz's epoch-making works Recherches sur les poissons fossiles (1833-1845) laid the secure foundations of palaeichthyology, and were followed by Christian Heinrich Pander's (1794-1865) classic memoirs on the fossil fishes of Russia.
Cope's philosophic contributions to palaeontology began in 1868 (see essays in The Origin of the Fittest, New York, 1887, and The Primary Factors of Organic Evolution, Chicago, 1896) with the independent discovery and demonstration among vertebrates of the laws of acceleration and retardation.
Waagen's law of mutation, or the appearance of new parts or organs so gradually that they can be perceived only by following them through successive geologic time stages, appears to be directly contradictory to the saltation principle; it is certainly one of the most firmly established principles of palaeontology, and it constitutes the contribution par excellence of this branch of zoology to the law of evolution, since it is obvious that it could not possibly have been deduced from comparison of living animals but only through the long perspective gained by comparison of animals succeeding each other in time.
Thus Bionomics is treated in such articles as Evolution, Heredity, Variation, Mendelism, Reproduction, Sex, &C.; Zoo-dynamics under Medicine, Surgery, Physiology, Anatomy, Embryology, and allied articles; Plasmology under Cytology, Protoplasm, &C.; and Philosophical Zoology under numerous headings, Evolution, Biology, &C. See also Zoological Distribution, Palaeontology, Ocranography, Microtomy, &C.
His work on palaeontology shows him the predecessor of all the Scandinavian geologists, and his contributions in this field alone would have been sufficient to perpetuate his fame.
Palaeontology both borrows from and sheds light upon geology and other branches of the physical history of the earth, each of which, such as palaeogeography or palaeometeorology, is the more fascinating because of the large element of the unknown, the need for constructive imagination, the appeal to other branches of biological and physical investigation for supplementary evidence, and the necessity of constant comparison with the present aspects of nature.
Progress in the science also depends upon the pursuit of palaeontology as zoology and not as geology, because it was a mere accident of birth which connected palaeontology so closely with geology.
In order to illustrate the grateful services which palaeontology through restoration may render to the related earth sciences let us imagine a vast continent of the past wholly unknown in its physical features, elevation, climate, configuration, but richly represented by fossil remains.
The traces of alternations of adaptations corresponding to these alternations of habitat are recorded both in palaeontology and anatomy, although often after the obscure analogy of the earlier and later writings of a palimpsest.
We are thus working out gradually the separate contributions of the land masses of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and of Australia to the mammalian fauna of the world, a result which can be obtained through palaeontology only.
Such sudden appearances may be demonstrated possibly in zoology and embryology but never can be demonstrated by palaeontology, because of the incompleteness of the geological record.
We have shown that the direct observation of the origin of new characters in palaeontology brings them within that domain of natural law and order to which the evolution of the physical universe conforms. The nature of this law, which, upon the whole, appears to be purposive or teleological in its operations, is altogether a mystery which may or may not be illumined by future research.
Ogilvie-Gordon, entitled " History of Geology and Palaeontology to the end of the 19th Century."
A classic but unfinished work describing the methods of invertebrate palaeontology is Die Stamme des Thierreichs (Vienna, 1889), by Melchior Neumayr.
The public library and museum, on the north side of Grand Avenue, in addition to an excellent collection of natural history, palaeontology, &c., contained in 1909 a library of about 190,000 volumes.
It became established as a distinct branch in the beginning of the 19th century, and somewhat later received the appellation " palaeontology," which was given independently by De Blainville and by Fischer von Waldheim about 1834.