Paleontology or palaeontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1677.
- Robert Plot misinterprets a piece of Megalosaurus thigh bone as belonging to an elephant brought to Britain when the region was under the control of the Roman Empire. Despite recognizing this find as a petrified bone, he would later make the curious claim that fossils were made by God to decorate the inside of the earth, and were thus never part of real animals.