Paleontologists study the fossil record to better understand evolution, the biology of long-extinct species, and what life on Earth was like in the past. Paleontology is a broad field of science, and requires knowledge in all major sciences: physics, biology, chemistry, and geology. Specialized fields within paleontology include paleobotany (ancient plants), vertebrate paleontology (ancient animals with backbones), and paleoecology (ancient ecosystems). A paleontology career should begin with a Bachelor’s degree in biology and/or geology, with plenty of physics, chemistry, and math coursework. Many paleontologists look for fossils in remote deserts in foreign countries, so knowing a foreign language (or several) is very helpful. You will eventually need a Ph.D. to work as a researcher or professor.

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