Neontology

Article

July 1, 2022

Neontology is part of biology. In contrast to paleontology, it deals with living (or, more generally, recently formed) organisms. Its focus is on the study of extant taxa, such as species, genera, and families whose members are still alive, as opposed to the case where all members are extinct. For example: The moose is an extant species, while the dodo is an extinct species. In the group of molluscs known as cephalopods, updated: 1987, there are approximately 600 extant, 7,500 extinct species. A taxon can be classified as extinct if there is general consensus or evidence that it no longer has living members. Likewise, extinct taxa can be reclassified as extant if new extant species are discovered ("Lazarus species"), or if previously known extant species are reclassified as members of the taxon. The term neontologist is mostly used by paleontologists for non-paleontologists.

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