Palaeontology is the study of ancient animal and environment records. In
Greek Palaeontology means study of ancient life.
Brian Mackness is a Palaeontologist. I E-mailed Brian and asked him why he
liked being a palaeontologist. He replied:
"As to why I like being a palaeontologist . . .It's mainly because you get
to be a time detective. The first challenge when you find a bit of an
animal millions of years old is to try and work out what kind of animal it
was in the first place. Then if its new you need to work out where it fits
in the scheme of things. You also have to describe and name it. Really
stuff. But perhaps the best thing is that by understanding how different
animals have survived you can help make sure that those animals here today
and be properly conserved."
patience,resilience and determination
capacity for detailed observation
an interest in science
should be physically fit
be prepared to live in rough condition while on field work
should be able to draw and write to a fairly high standard
As a Palaeontologist you may perform some of the following tasks
look for and record geological sites
organize and carry out field excavations (digs)
clean,repair,reconstruct fossil records
photograph or draw fossils both on-site and at base
Palaeontology can be very profitable with salaries but you will not get
rich. The vary in salaries is due to some palaeontologists working on
contracts and some of them working for big museums. Palaeontology is a
very out-door job but, does involve some in-door work.
Palaeontology usually specializes into particular areas. For example may
specialize into one period or on one species of animal.