Methods in Paleontology


Help students to acquire knowledge that will contribute to the development of high quality scientific research in the field of Paleontology.

Promote the learning of technical laboratory work that contributes significantly to the development of extensive research in the field of Palaeontology.

Mastering techniques of field and laboratory research, sampling, separation and study of      


Provide skills development to contribute to the formation of productive professionals.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Octávio João Madeira Mateus, Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues Roque Legoinha


Weekly - 3

Total - 51

Teaching language



Students should know the basic concepts of paleontology.


ANDERSEN,A.F.; CHAPMAN, R.E. & DICKMAN, J. (2001) – Using prototyping technology in vertebrate paleontology: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 21(3): 28A

ALCOBER, O. (2002) – Tomografia digital de tetrápodos triásicos de Argentina. Ameghiniana, 39 (4  Supl.):5R.

CARVALHO, Ismar de Sousa (editor) (2010) - Paleontologia: Conceitos e Métodos – 3ª edição. Editora Interciência. Brasil.

Hammer, Ø., & Harper, D. A. (2008). Paleontological data analysis. John Wiley & Sons.

TRAVERSE, A. (2007) – Paleopalynology. Second Edition, Springer, The Netherlands.

TAYLOR, T.N.; TAYLOR, E. & KRINGS, M. (2009) – Palaeobotany: The biology and evolution of fossil plants. Second Edition, Academic Press, New York.

Wylie, C. D. (2021). Preparing Dinosaurs: The Work Behind the Scenes. MIT Press.

Journal of Paleontological Techniques

Teaching method

Theoretical and practices classes.
Laboratory classes
Field work.
Discussion of scientific papers.
Continuous assessment, through the presentation and discussion of reports.

Evaluation method

Students are assessed through written report and laboratory and field work done throughout the semester. Peer review may occur.

Subject matter

Fossils: sampling and methods of study.  

Techniques for preparation of Microfossils (calcareous and siliceous).   

Techniques for preparation chemical and mechanics of fossils vertebrate.

The importance of consolidating in preparation. Stages of preparation.

Techniques for electron microscopy in the study of fossils.  

Digital methodologies applied to the study of vertebrates.

Illustration of fossils.

Treatment of laboratory samples for mesofossil plants, spores and pollens.

Importance of Palaeontology for paleoenvironmental and paleoecological reconstructions.


Programs where the course is taught: