Botany is the study of plants. Paleobotany is the study of fossil plants found buried in sediments and rocks, and is one of many fields of study within the broad science of botany. A paleobotanist is a person who studies fossil plants.
NAMING FOSSIL PLANTS
Plants, unlike most animals for example, naturally break apart into pieces while they are alive. For example, pollen is released in the Spring (causing one's allergies to act up) and leaves fall in the Autumn. In fact, it is quite normal to find a leaf here, a branch there and a seed somewhere else. When a plant dies, the plant breaks apart into still more pieces. When looking for fossil plants, a leaf is found here and a branch is found over there. It is relatively rare to find a leaf attached to a branch to show that they belong to the same plant. As a result paleobotanists usually give a different name to each part of a plant until they can show that they were part of the same plant (that is, they find the leaf attached to a branch). This method of naming fossil plants is why there are different names for different parts of a single plant.
|Common Fossils of Oklahoma
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