Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, coprolites, palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because mankind has 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 in the year 1763.
The end of a Megalosaurus thighbone, previously misinterpreted by Robert Plot to be the remains of an elephant brought to Britain by the Romans, is subject to further confusion when Richard Brooks publishes a paper naiming it Scrotum humanum. Although he meant this name metaphorically to describe the bone's appearance, this idea is taken seriously by French philosopher Jean-Baptiste Robinet, who believed that nature formed fossils in mimicry of portions of the human anatomy- such as the scrotum.