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I figured I'd want to ask fossil-related stuff, but I'm not sure if this would be within the purview of this SE site. Can I ask questions about, say, dinosaurs or pre-Holocene mammals?

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In private beta and early public, I'd be fairly liberal with scope. They aren't clearly off-topic, so there's no real reason to actively exclude them. If they draw more expert eyes to the site, all the better.

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I cannot see how paleontology would not fall under the scope of biology unless the question dealt narrowly with a methodology that might be better for another site (e.g., radioisotope dating -> physics or specific statistical models -> stats)

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