EOSC 425 · Palaeontology

Paleobiogeography in the context of plate tectonics. Mass extinction events. Fossilization and biases in the fossil record. Species concepts in paleontology. Biostratigraphy. Paleontological evidence for early life; the colonization of oceanic and terrestrial environments and; the evolution of the primates. [2-3-0] Prerequisite: EOSC 222

Course Availability & Schedule

Course Syllabus

Learning goals: 

1. Describe the paleontological evidence for the origin of Metazoans and their subsequent development including vertebrates and hominids.
2. Use paleontological data and samples in the interpretation of Earth history including the development of the biosphere, mass extinction events and assessment of ancient paleogeography.
3. Investigate fossils specimens and provide written and oral presentations consistent with those delivered at professional paleontological meetings and conferences.


2009, Benton, M. J & Harper, D. A. T. Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record 

Provisional Course Content

(subject to change)

MODULE 1: Invertebrates
Bryozoans / Oceanic Circulation
MODULE 2: Early Life and the evolution of skeletons
Early Life
The rise of the Metazoa and Snowball Earth
Phanerozoic Diversification
MODULE 3: Vertebrate Paleontology and Trace Fossils
Trace Fossils
MODULE 4: Species and Diversification
Species and Speciation
Taxonomy (Chitinozoa case study)
MODULE 5: Paleontology an Earth System Science
Earth System Science and Extinction Events
Permian Extinction
K-Pg Extinction

Provisional Lab Content

(subject to change)
- Geological Time
- Seminar and poster bootcamp
- Echinoderms / Bryozoans
- Precambrian/Cambrian faunas
- Vertebrates
- Hominids
- Trace fossils
- Species and Taxonomy
- Paleobiogeography