Paleontology

Ceratosaurus and Stegosaurus: Warm-blooded

Paleontology is the scientific study of all fossil life forms other than humans, from plants asnd animals to fungi to creatures that bizarre that we don't know what they were (Ediacarans, looking at you). Paleontologists need knowledge of geology, ecology and biology to gain insight into the being whose usually-crushed remains lie before them, and into the evolution of life, based on mineralized bones and tissues, and sometimes just impressions left in sedimentary rocks.

Some interpretations remain disputed, such as that of layering in 4-billion-year-old rocks as bacterial mats as opposed to geological phenomena. Also, interpretations may change with new insights: certain small tyrannosaurs initially classified as new species were apparently just teenage T-rexes. That is the beauty of paleontology:glimpsing life forms we will never personally meet, from the unimaginably weird like Tully's monster to the downright terrifying, like the giant beaver the size of your father, with teeth as long as your forearm.