Paleontologists study fossils, which are the remains of living things, such as shells and bones that have turned to stone. Many fossils are thousands, millions or billions of years old! By learning the age of fossils and examining them, paleontologists can discover information about the people, plants and animals that lived before us.
Paleontologists may focus on one kind of fossil, such as animals with backbones, animals without backbones or plants. Some paleontologists teach at colleges and some work in museums, while others work for the government or for oil companies that need help finding sources of petroleum.
Paleontologists are often curious and patient. They take time to explore and study, and they enjoy science! Their hard work pays off—their careful recovery of fossils from the ground preserves history, and their discoveries help us learn about living things past and present!