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palaeontology

noun
  1. the study of fossils to determine the structure and evolution of extinct animals and plants and the age and conditions of deposition of the rock strata in which they are foundSee also palaeobotany, palaeozoology
  2. another name for palaeozoology
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Derived Formspalaeontological (ˌpælɪˌɒntəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectivepalaeontologically, adverbpalaeontologist, noun

Word Origin

C19: from palaeo- + onto- + -logy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Historical Examples