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Palaeontology
Paleontology or palaeontology (/ˌpliɒnˈtɒləi, ˌpæli-, -ən-/) is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene Epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology). Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as the 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier's work on comparative anatomy, and developed rapidly in the 19th century
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Biostratigraphy
Biostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy which focuses on correlating and assigning relative ages of rock strata by using the fossil assemblages contained within them. Usually the aim is correlation, demonstrating that a particular horizon in one geological section represents the same period of time as another horizon at some other section. The fossils are useful because sediments of the same age can look completely different because of local variations in the sedimentary environment. For example, one section might have been made up of clays and marls while another has more chalky limestones, but if the fossil species recorded are similar, the two sediments are likely to have been laid down at the same time. Biostratigraphy originated in the early 19th century, where geologists recognised that the correlation of fossil assemblages between rocks of similar type but different age decreased as the difference in age increased
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Evolution Of Cetaceans
The evolutionary history of cetaceans is thought to have occurred in the Indian subcontinent from even-toed ungulates 50 million years ago, over a period of at least 15 million years. Cetaceans are fully aquatic marine mammals belonging to the order Artiodactyla, and branched off from other artiodactyls around 50 mya (million years ago). Cetaceans are thought to have evolved during the Eocene or earlier, sharing a closest common ancestor with hippopotamuses. Being mammals, they surface to breathe air; they have 5 finger bones (even-toed) in their fins; they nurse their young; and, despite their fully aquatic life style, they retained many skeletal features from their terrestrial ancestors
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Butterfly Evolution
Butterfly evolution is the origin and diversification of butterflies through geologic time and over a large portion of the Earth's surface. The earliest known butterfly fossils are from the mid Eocene epoch, between 40-50 million years ago. Their development is closely linked to the evolution of flowering plants, since both adult butterflies and caterpillars feed on flowering plants. Of the 220,000 species of Lepidoptera, about 45,000 species are butterflies, which probably evolved from moths
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Evolution Of Birds
The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropoda dinosaurs named Paraves. Birds are categorized as a biological class, Aves. For more than a century, the small theropod dinosaur Archaeopteryx lithographica from the Late Jurassic period was considered to have been the earliest bird. Modern phylogenies place birds in the dinosaur clade Theropoda. According to the current consensus, Aves and a sister group, the order Crocodilia, together are the sole living members of an unranked "reptile" clade, the Archosauria
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Evolution Of Sexual Reproduction
The evolution of sexual reproduction describes how sexually reproducing animals, plants, fungi and protists evolved from a common ancestor that was a single celled eukaryotic species. There are a few species which have secondarily lost the ability to reproduce sexually, such as Bdelloidea, and some plants and animals that routinely reproduce asexually (by apomixis and parthenogenesis) without entirely losing sex
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Evolution Of Nervous Systems
The evolution of nervous systems dates back to the first development of nervous systems in animals (or metazoans). Neurons developed as specialized electrical signaling cells in multicellular animals, adapting the mechanism of action potentials present in motile single-celled and colonial eukaryotes. Simple nerve nets seen in animals like cnidaria evolved first, followed by nerve cords in bilateral animalsventral nerve cords in invertebrates and dorsal nerve cords supported by a notochord in chordates
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Evolution Of Mammalian Auditory Ossicles
The evolution of mammalian auditory ossicles was an evolutionary event in which bones in the jaw of reptiles were co-opted to form part of the hearing apparatus in mammals. The event is well-documented and important as a demonstration of transitional forms and exaptation, the re-purposing of existing structures during evolution. In reptiles, the eardrum is connected to the inner ear via a single bone, the columella, while the upper and lower jaws contain several bones not found in mammals. Over the course of the evolution of mammals, one bone from the lower and one from the upper jaw (the articular and quadrate bones) lost their purpose in the jaw joint and were put to new use in the middle ear, connecting to the existing stapes bone and forming a chain of three bones, the ossicles, which transmit sounds more efficiently and allow more acute hearing
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Evolution Of Hair
Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of glabrous skin, is covered in follicles which produce thick terminal and fine vellus hair
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Evolution Of Flagella
The evolution of flagella is of great interest to biologists because the three known varieties of flagella (eukaryotic, bacterial, and archaeal) each represent a sophisticated cellular structure that requires the interaction of many different systems.

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Evolution Of The Eye
The evolution of the eye is attractive to study, because the eye distinctively exemplifies an analogous organ found in many animal forms. Complex, image-forming eyes have evolved independently between 50 to 100 times. Complex eyes appeared first within the few million years of the Cambrian explosion. From before the Cambrian, no evidence of eyes has survived, but diverse eyes are known from the Burgess shale of the Middle Cambrian, and from the slightly older Emu Bay Shale. Eyes are adapted to the various requirements of their owners
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Evolution Of Multicellularity
Multicellular organisms are organisms that consist of more than one cell, in contrast to unicellular organisms. All species of animals, land plants and most fungi are multicellular, as are many algae, whereas a few organisms are partially uni- and partially multicellular, like slime molds and social amoebae such as the genus Dictyostelium. Multicellular organisms arise in various ways, for example by cell division or by aggregation of many single cells. Colonial organisms are the result of many identical individuals joining together to form a colony
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Evolution Of Cells
Evolution of cells refers to the evolutionary origin and subsequent evolutionary development of cells
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Origin Of Avian Flight
Around 350 BCE, Aristotle and other philosophers of the time attempted to explain the aerodynamics of avian flight. Even after the discovery of the ancestral bird Archaeopteryx over 150 years ago, debates still persist regarding the evolution of flight. There are three leading hypotheses pertaining to avian flight: Pouncing Proavis model, Cursorial model, and Arboreal model
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Evolution Of Plants
The evolution of plants has resulted in widely varying levels of complexity, from the earliest algal mats, through bryophytes, lycopods, and ferns, to the complex gymnosperms and angiosperms of today. While many of the groups which appeared earlier continue to thrive, as exemplified by algal dominance in marine environments, more recently derived groups have also displaced previously ecologically dominant ones, e.g. the ascendance of flowering plants over gymnosperms in terrestrial environments. Evidence for the appearance of the first land plants occurs in the Ordovician, around 450 million years ago, in the form of fossil spores. Land plants began to diversify in the Late Silurian, from around 430 million years ago, and the results of their diversification are displayed in remarkable detail in an early Devonian fossil assemblage from the Rhynie chert
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