1. n. [Geology]
The study of fossilized, or preserved, remnants of plant and animal life. Changes in the Earth through time can be documented by observing changes in the fossils in successive strata and the environments in which they formed or were preserved. Fossils can also be compared with their extant relatives to assess evolutionary changes. Correlations of strata can be aided by studying their fossil content, a discipline called biostratigraphy.