Paleontology or palaeontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoriclife forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1854.
The Fossil Spirit: A Boy's Dream of Geology by John Mill was published. The story features a fakir from Hindostan telling a group of boys about his past lives as prehistoric creatures across geologic time. One such life as was lived as an Iguanodon who was attacked by a Megalosaurus. Apart from this fight scene, paleontologist William A. S. Sarjeant has dismissed the book as a "singularly turgid and heavily didactic text."
^Gini-Newman, Garfield; Graham, Elizabeth (2001). Echoes from the past: world history to the 16th century. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. ISBN9780070887398. OCLC46769716.
^Leidy, J. 1854. Remarks on Bathygnathus borealis (Article XVI). Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia (2nd Series) Volume VIII, part 4: pp. 449-451;
^ abcdOwen, R. 1854. Descriptive catalogue of the fossil organic remains of reptilia contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. British Museum (Natural History), London: 184 pages.
^Sarjeant, W. A. S., 2001, Dinosaurs in fiction: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, pp. 504-529.