(a 9th-10th grade essay)
What Is Paleontology?
Paleontology is he study of fossils, such as wood, bones, and shells. Those are the most common fossils, but there are also other types of things paleontologists search for. Such as soft tissues, tracks, and trails, and even coprolites which are fossil feces. Even though the fossils these people dig up are billions of years old, there is no minimum age for a structure to be a fossil.
These paleontologists study the fossils they find to reconstruct the history of the Earth and the life on it. Like dinosaurs for example, if we did not know they were on the Earth before our time, what would we think? Would we think that there were aliens before us!?
What Are the Practical Uses of Paleontology?
Natural resources are very important to our economy. A number of the natural resources come from fossils. Some examples of these would be coal and oil, which comes from the fossils of plants. An example is the skeletons of algae.
If we did not have these natural resources, what would we use for energy? That is why paleontology is so important. And if/when we run out of resources, will paleontology be able to help us again? Maybe they can find another natural resource that is abundant in our earth.
What Training is Needed to Become A Paleontologist?
Paleontology is one of the fields left in science in which you need no training to do. Amateurs can and frequently do make important contributions. You need a keen mind, curiosity and imagination, and lots of patience. That is why I could never be a paleontologist.
How Can I Find Fossils In My Area?
If you want to find fossils in your area, all you have to do is start looking! Quarries, road cuts, and cliffs are good places to start, but remember if it is needed, get permission before doing so. And play it safe!