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Paleontology or palaeontology is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils.[1] 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 1806.

List of years in paleontology (table)
In science


  • William Clark notices an exposed fossil rib in an area later known as the Hell Creek Formation on the south bank of the Yellowstone River. Although he mistakenly believed the rib belonged to a huge fish, paleontologists have determined that this event marks the first documented dinosaur fossil discovery in North America.[2]


  1. ^ Gini-Newman, Garfield; Graham, Elizabeth (2001). Echoes from the past: world history to the 16th century. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. ISBN 9780070887398. OCLC 46769716.
  2. ^ Farlow, James Orville; Brett-Surmann, M. K. (1999). The Complete Dinosaur. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780253213136. OCLC 37107117.