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Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Sarah Elton

Elton, S. (2017). Paleobiology and behavior. In The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Fuentes, A. Chichester, UK Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Author(s) from Durham


Paleobiology, the study of ancient life, gives us a window onto the habits, biology, and behavior of individuals and species that are now extinct. Although extinct species cannot be observed directly, their paleobiology and behavior can be inferred from study of the fossil and geological records in combination with knowledge about modern organisms and processes. Paleobiological reconstructions thus help to shed light on many aspects of ancient lives, including ecology, diet, locomotion, life history, mating systems, biogeography, speciation, extinction, and abundance.