I've been reading informationn on this site for a while and I see that it seems that many of the answers to questions are given by paleontologists. It looks like a strangely high percentage of anwerrs in fact. Is this because there is a specially high number of paleontolgosts on the site or is it because they are harder working or more clever than other biologists?

It's the first one Luke!

Ask A Biologist was my project and I am a palaeontologist. Obviously to get things started I asked my friends and colleagues to sign up as experts and for them to ask their friends. As a palaeontolgist myself, most of the people I asked were palaeontologists and it soon spread.

So no, I would not say that as a group we are harder working, just over-represented!

Research and academic scientists in general have to be very hard working because of the demands of the profession. Teaching commitments, undertaking field work and research, writing academic papers and constantly trying to meet targets, are just a few of the reasons that can and do keep scientists in their offices for more hours in the day (and night) than is probably healthy. To say that palaeontologists are the cleverest scientists would be unfair for the same reason that it would be unfair to say that people who went to Imperial College London are cleverer than people who went to Kings College London. In some cases it may be true, in other cases it may be the other way around- it is all down to the ability of the individual.

I should add that actually I *am* cleverer that the other biologists. I don't want to give the wrong impression of my colleagues, but it is certainly true of me! Though I'm not as hard working - that goes to Emma
- www.askabiologist.org.uk/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=769

And before everyone complains, you're just annoyed becuase I said it first ;-)

I'd just like to add that this site is contributed to by professional scientists as a voluntary activity. All of the effort that people put in is freely given. Unfortunately that normally means that the more busy we are with our paid work, the less chance we have to contribute to the site. This suggests that palaeontologists actually do less work than other biologists! Or they're just more efficient at multi-tasking...

Or, maybe 'some' people spend more time at their desks, in their nice warm offices, rather than out grafting for a living, in the cold November weather!

And Emma-Louise, it certainly isn't unfair to say that those people that went to IC are smarter than those that went to Kings! Although, Hone did manage to go to IC, so I'm not sure how that works. Just goes to show that there are always exceptions...   ;>)

It's true that we palaeontologists are not necessarily more intelligent than our colleagues who work on living creatures.  However, we are a lot cooler.