Paleozoology, also spelled as palaeozoology (Greek: παλαιον, "paleon" = old and ζωον, "zoon" = animal), is the branch of paleontology or paleobiology dealing with the recovery and identification of multicellular animal remains from geological (or even archeological) contexts, and the use of these fossils in the reconstruction of prehistoric environments and ancient ecosystems.

Definitive, macroscopic remains of these metazoans are found in the fossil record from the Ediacaran period of the Neoproterozoic era onwards, although they do not become common until the Late Devonian period in the latter half of the Paleozoic era.

Perhaps the best known macrofossils group is the dinosaurs. Other popularly known animal-derived macrofossils include trilobites, crustaceans, echinoderms, brachiopods, mollusks, bony fishes, sharks, Vertebrate teeth, and shells of numerous invertebrate groups. This is because hard organic parts, such as bones, teeth, and shells resist decay, and are the most commonly preserved and found animal fossils. Exclusively soft-bodied animals -- such as jellyfish, flatworms, nematodes, and insects -- are consequently rarely fossilized, as these groups do not produce hard organic parts.

ee also

*History of invertebrate paleozoology
*Animalia, taxonomic kingdom of
*Index fossils -- a.k.a. guide fossils
*Invertebrate paleontology covers most animal phyla
*Macrofossils -- easily visible fossil evidence
*Metazoa -- animal kingdom
*Microfossils -- microscopic fossil evidence
*Paleobiology -- biology and paleontology
*Trace fossils -- indirect evidence of prehistoric life
*Vertebrate paleontology covers the subphylum Vertebrata

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  • paleozoology — [spelling only] …   English World dictionary

  • paleozoology — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1857 a branch of paleontology dealing with ancient and fossil animals • paleozoological adjective • paleozoologist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • paleozoology — paleozoological /pay lee oh zoh euh loj i keuhl/ or, esp. Brit., /pal ee /, paleozoologic, adj. paleozoologist, n. /pay lee oh zoh ol euh jee/ or, esp. Brit., /pal ee /, n. the branch of paleontology dealing with fossil animals. [1855 60; PALEO + …   Universalium

  • paleozoology — noun The branch of zoology dealing with fossils, and the creatures that were transformed into them …   Wiktionary

  • paleozoology — pa·leo·zoology …   English syllables

  • paleozoology — pa•le•o•zo•ol•o•gy [[t]ˌpeɪ li oʊ zoʊˈɒl ə dʒi[/t]] esp. brit. [[t]ˌpæl i [/t]] n. pal the branch of paleontology dealing with fossil animals • Etymology: 1855–60 pa le•o•zo o•log′i•cal ˌzoʊ əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl pa le•o•zo o•log′ic, adj …   From formal English to slang

  • paleozoology — The study of prehistoric animals …   Grandiloquent dictionary

  • paleozoology — noun the study of fossil animals • Syn: ↑palaeozoology • Hypernyms: ↑paleobiology, ↑palaeobiology, ↑zoology, ↑zoological science • Hyponyms: ↑paleomammalogy, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • History of invertebrate paleozoology — The history of invertebrate paleozoology (also spelled palaeozoology ) differs from the history of paleontology in that the former usually emphasizes paleobiology and the paleoecology of extinct marine invertebrates, while the latter typically… …   Wikipedia

  • List of evolutionary biology topics — This is a list of topics in evolutionary biology and evolution. See also: List of biology topics, List of biochemistry topics, NOTOC A abiogenesis adaptation adaptive radiation allele allele frequency allopatric speciation altruism Archaeopteryx… …   Wikipedia

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