Paleontologists

Paleontologists study the fossils of plants, animals and other organisms in order to understand the forms of life that existed during the prehistoric or geologic times. The work of paleontologists throws light on the earth’s history: catastrophic events, geologic composition, and climate changes. Paleontology is a field intimately related to a number of other sciences like geology, biology, archeology, biochemistry, mathematics, and anatomy among others. Some paleontologists may work on field on sites locating fossil beds and excavating remains. Even though this is an important part of their work, most of the times paleontologists do not have to visit the fossil sites themselves, often specimen discovered by other professionals while working on mining or petroleum sites are sent to the paleontologists for examination. They determine the age of the fossils using sophisticated techniques and observe the features to identify the species. The findings of their research provide vital insight into the earth’s history and evolution of life forms. Paleontologists primarily work in research or in teaching jobs. This section provides you information about the life and works of various famous paleontologists from all over the world.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin.
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Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

 2 Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould.
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Birthdate: September 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bayside, New York, United States
Died: May 20, 2002

 3 Georges Cuvier

Georges Cuvier.
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Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: August 23, 1769
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montbéliard, France
Died: May 13, 1832

Georges Cuvier was a French zoologist and naturalist. A major figure in the early 19th century's research of natural sciences, Cuvier played an important role in establishing the fields of comparative paleontology and anatomy by comparing fossils with living animals, for which he is sometimes regarded as the founding father of paleontology.

 4 Richard Owen

Richard Owen.
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Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: July 20, 1804
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lancaster, England
Died: December 18, 1892
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 5 Richard Leakey

Richard Leakey.
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Famous As: Paleoanthropologist and Conservationist
Birthdate: December 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nairobi

Born to anthropologist parents, Richard Leakey initially worked as a safari guide. On an expedition to Ethiopia, he and his men stumbled upon Koobi Fora, a site where they unearthed numerous tools and fossils. The Kenyan paleoanthropologist later lost his legs in a plane crash and now uses artificial limbs.

 6 Mary Leakey

Mary Leakey
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Famous As: Paleoanthropologist
Birthdate: February 6, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 9, 1996
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 7 William Buckland

William Buckland
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Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856
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 8 Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery
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Famous As: Biologist, Paleontologist, Zoologist, Environmentalist
Birthdate: January 28, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbourne
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 9 Roy Chapman Andrews

Roy Chapman Andrews
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Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: January 26, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 11, 1960

 10 Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: May 26, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skerries, Ireland
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 11 Robert T. Bakker

Robert T. Bakker
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Famous As: Paleontologist, Novelist, University teacher
Birthdate: March 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bergen County

 12 Louise Leakey

Louise Leakey
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: March 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya
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 13 Henry Fairfield Osborn

Henry Fairfield Osborn
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Famous As: Geologist, Paleontologist
Birthdate: August 8, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fairfield
Died: September 6, 1935

 14 Birbal Sahni

Birbal Sahni.
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Famous As: Palaeobotanist
Birthdate: 1891 AD
Birthplace: Saharanpur district
Died: April 10, 1949
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 15 George Gaylord Simpson

George Gaylord Simpson
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: June 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 6, 1984

 16 Eduard Suess

Eduard Suess
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Famous As: Paleontologist, Politician, University teacher, Scientist, Geologist
Birthdate: August 20, 1831
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
Died: April 26, 1914

 17 C.H. Waddington

C.H. Waddington
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Famous As: Developmental Biologist
Birthdate: November 8, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Evesham, England
Died: September 26, 1975

 18 Gideon Mantell

Gideon Mantell
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Famous As: Obstetrician
Birthdate: February 3, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lewes, England
Died: November 10, 1852

 19 Eugène Dubois

Eugène Dubois
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Famous As: Curator, Geologist, Physician, Anthropologist, Paleontologist, Archaeologist, Prehistorian, Paleoanthropologist
Birthdate: January 28, 1858
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eijsden
Died: December 16, 1940

 20 Paul Sereno

Paul Sereno
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Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: October 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aurora, Illinois, United States

 21 Joseph Leidy

Joseph Leidy
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: September 9, 1823
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 30, 1891

 22 Daniel Lieberman

Daniel Lieberman
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Famous As: Paleoanthropologist
Birthdate: June 3, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
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 23 John Ostrom

John Ostrom
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: February 18, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: July 16, 2005

 24 Henry De la Beche

Henry De la Beche
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Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: February 10, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 13, 1855
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 25 Franz Weidenreich

Franz Weidenreich
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: June 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edenkoben, Germany
Died: July 11, 1948

 26 Florentino Ameghino

Florentino Ameghino
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Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: September 18, 1854
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luján, Argentina
Died: August 6, 1911

 27 Johan Gunnar Andersson

Johan Gunnar Andersson
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Famous As: Archaeologist
Birthdate: July 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Närke, Sweden
Died: October 29, 1960

 28 Alfred Romer

Alfred Romer
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: December 28, 1894
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, United States
Died: November 5, 1973
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 29 Brian Axsmith

Brian Axsmith
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Famous As: Paleobotanist
Birthdate: June 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United States
Died: May 5, 2020

 30 Kenneth Lacovara

Kenneth Lacovara
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: March 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pleasantville, New Jersey
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 31 David M. Raup

David M. Raup
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: April 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 9, 2015

 32 Alcide d'Orbigny

Alcide d'Orbigny
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Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: September 6, 1802
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Coueron, France
Died: June 30, 1857

 33 Paul Gervais

Paul Gervais
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: September 26, 1816
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 10, 1879

 34 Marcellin Boule

Marcellin Boule
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Famous As: Palaeontologist
Birthdate: January 1, 1861
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montsalvy, France
Died: July 4, 1942

 35 Alexander Wetmore

Alexander Wetmore
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Famous As: Ornithologist
Birthdate: June 18, 1886
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: North Freedom, Wisconsin, United States
Died: December 7, 1978

 36 Nathaniel Shaler

Nathaniel Shaler
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: February 20, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newport, Kentucky, United States
Died: April 10, 1906

 37 Christian Leopold von Buch

Christian Leopold von Buch
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Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: April 26, 1774
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Germany
Died: March 4, 1853

 38 Pierre-Joseph van Beneden

Pierre-Joseph van Beneden
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: December 19, 1809
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mechelen, Belgium
Died: January 8, 1894

 39 Joachim Barrande

Joachim Barrande
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Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: August 11, 1799
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saugues, France
Died: October 5, 1883

 40 Karl Alfred, knight von Zittel

Karl Alfred, knight von Zittel
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Famous As: German paleontologist
Birthdate: September 25, 1839
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bahlingen, Germany
Died: January 5, 1904

 41 Édouard Lartet

Édouard Lartet
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Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: April 15, 1801
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Castelnau-Barbarens, France
Died: January 28, 1871

 42 Alpheus Hyatt

Alpheus Hyatt
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Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: April 5, 1838
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: January 15, 1902

 43 William Diller Matthew

William Diller Matthew
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: February 19, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint John, Canada
Died: September 24, 1930

 44 Amadeus William Grabau

Amadeus William Grabau
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Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: January 9, 1870
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cedarburg, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 20, 1946

 45 Charles Schuchert

Charles Schuchert
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: July 3, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: November 20, 1942

 46 Kenneth Oakley

Kenneth Oakley
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: April 7, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amersham, England
Died: November 2, 1981

 47 Jia Lanpo

Jia Lanpo
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Famous As: Palaeoanthropologist
Birthdate: November 25, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yutian County, Hebei, Tangshan, China
Died: July 8, 2001

 48 Oliver Perry Hay

Oliver Perry Hay
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Famous As: Herpetologist
Birthdate: May 22, 1846
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saluda, Indiana, United States
Died: November 2, 1930

 49 Elwyn L. Simons

Elwyn L. Simons
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: July 14, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Died: March 6, 2016

 50 Otto Schindewolf

Otto Schindewolf
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: June 7, 1896
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: June 10, 1971
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