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Paleontology can be divided into many subdisciplines, including:
- Invertebrate paleontology
- Vertebrate paleontology
- Ichnology (Study of tracks, burrows etc)
- Taphonomy (Study of processes occuring to organisms after their death)
Paleontology and Evolution
Fossils were first identified as ancient, and sometimes extinct lifeforms in the ninteenth century. The "fossil record", studied by paleontologists, shows much of the history of life on earth as it contains the ancestors of modern species. The fossil record also shows us patterns in the earth's history, such as extinction events and migrations.