For Your Reference
Just a handy post for any and all of you reading this blog.
Paleontology: The study of fossils. Not to be confused with Archeology.
Archeology: The study of prehistoric people and their cultures(note: prehistoric in this case is loosely defined as the study of Egyptians, Vikings, etc all fall under this science even though they are after prehistory).
Prehistory: History before writing
Fossils: Long dead animals and plants preserved in rock or as rock.
Era: A division of time lasting tens of millions of years.
Period: A division of time lasting several million years. One division smaller than an era
Cenozoic: Era from 65 million years ago to today. Also known as the age of mammals.
Mesozoic: Era From around 252 million years ago to 65 million years ago. This is also known as the age of the dinosaurs.
Paleozoic: Era from about 541 to 252 million years ago. This is the time before the dinosaurs that started with the explosion of multicelled life known as the Cambrian Explosion.
Extinction Event: Major Extinction events in which 50% of species die. This may be caused by volcanic activity, meteorite impact, or extreme and sudden climate change.
Mya: Short hand for millions of years ago.
Convergent Evolution: Two creatures evolve to fit an identical niche/conditions that end up looking similar despite the fact they are not at all related. A couple good modern examples are American vultures vs old world vultures. Old world vultures are related to raptors, while new world vultures are believed to have evolved from storks and herons.
Niche: A set of conditions, available resources, etc that doesn’t overlap with another that one species can occupy. Essentially an animals job.
Extant: Living today, opposite of extinct.
Arboreal: Lives in trees.
Any other definitions will be added as needed.