Paleontologist is the Super Rare (Rare in Garden Warfare 2) fire variant of the Scientist in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. He was released in the Legends of the Lawn DLC pack.
Always the dedicated man of science, the Paleontologist has been digging a hole in the same spot for most of his life. He somehow dug his way through the Earth's core and ended up on the other side of the planet. Scratching his head in confusion, he found a dinosaur museum across the street and decided to borrow some bones.
His molten hot Dino Blaster ignites Plants, dealing fire damage over time.
His primary weapon is the Dino Blaster. It can deal 12 to 19 damage at long range, 20 to 25 damage at close range but can deal a maximum of 42 critical damage at close range. The absolute highest amount of damage that the weapon can deal per shot is 67 damage.
Sticky Explody Ball
Sticky Explody Ball is an explosive ball which explodes when an enemy plant is in a meter radius. It deals 50 damage.
With Warp, the player teleports a few meters forward in a straight line. The player deviates upward to go up stairs, small fences, etc.
Zombie Heal Station
The Zombie Heal Station heals all zombies within its radius.
Mega Heal Bomb
An alternate ability of Sticky Explody Ball, Mega Heal Bomb is a huge ball like the Sticky Explody Ball with a bigger radius. Heals all zombies in its radius by 50 health.
An alternate ability of Warp, Energy Warp allows the Scientist to transform into pure energy (he is invincible in this state. The Scientist is able to travel freely but cannot jump or attack. It also gains a small speed boost.
Armored Heal Station
An alternate ability of Zombie Heal Station, Armored Heal Station heals at a slower rate than the Zombie Health Station, and self-destructs the same time as the Zombie Heal Station. Its incredible size allows players to jump on it to get to most buildings.
Sticky Cheetah Ball - GW1 Only
An alternate ability of Sticky Explody Ball, Sticky Cheetah Ball is orange in color with black spots, deals 75 damage.
Cheesy Warp - GW1 Only
An alternate ability of Warp, Cheesy Warp has the same use as Warp but deals 30 damage to all plants after reaching its destination.
Cheetah Heal Station - GW1 Only
An alternate ability of Zombie Heal Station, Cheetah Heal Station heals at a faster rate, but also self-destructs faster.
Heal Beam of Science - GW2 Only
The Heal Beam of Science is the Scientist's first activatable ability. Similar to Heal Beam, it will heal any zombie targeted by it, healing faster the closer the Scientist is to the healed target.
Ancient dino speed allows for more expedient reloads.
A more spacious dino tail allows the Paleontologist to hold more shots in every clip.
Each molten magma shot is infused with razor-sharp dino teeth, resulting in more damage.
With his fire damage and extra ammo, along with a slightly faster fire rate, the Paleontologist has a rather lethal long range weapon against plants. He is actually best used as a sniper if the user is accurate enough. When attacking, stay back, and light enemies on fire from afar as your allies advance. The fire damage can cause quite a noticeable dent in the health bar of any plant and if you keep igniting them, the fire will quickly erode away their health and even vanquish them. The fire can be used to put pressure on Sunflowers, if there are any, since they may end up with more injured plants than what they can heal. This is a good tactic as you can severely hamper the Sunflower's healing power.
The Paleontologist is dangerous at most ranges because of his above-average range and the fact that any plants hit by his primary weapon are ignited. He has one of the highest damage potentials of all Scientist characters and has a better chance against multiple plants due to his fast firing and a rather large clip. Staying out of sight and attacking as a group is the best way to deal with this foe. Another method could be to use the Chomper to Burrow up close to him and eat him or bite him to death. The Chomper has high health, meaning he can tank the fire damage for quite a while and deals enough damage to kill the Paleontologist in just four hits (if he is receiving healing, you may have to squeeze in a fifth or rarely a sixth hit).
The absolute best counter to a Paleontologist at other ranges than long range is a Metal Petal-Armor Chomper combo with enough skill; both plants have very high health (150 and 200/225 respectively), the Metal Petal is ranged and can deal damage more reliably at longer ranges than the Paleontologist himself, the Metal Petal can heal herself and the Armor Chomper, undoing most of the fire damage while the Armor Chomper deals enough damage to kill the Paleontologist in two hits, has Goop which can prevent Warping and can burrow to avoid damage and instantly kill the Paleontologist by Chomping him from below. Adding in a Jade Cactus can make matters even worse as the Jade Cactus has also got elevated health and can provide long range support in addition to being able to deal splash damage. If the Paleontologist tries to retaliate, the Jade Cactus' elevated health allows her to withstand the fire damage more easily than other Cacti and with the Paleontologist already having an Armor Chomper and a Metal Petal to deal with, he will have little chance of success.
- The weapon skin he starts with has a spinal cord on it. However, any weapon skin the player unlocks has volcanoes on the spine. This major change in the weapon skins also occurs with General Supremo.
- However, in Garden Warfare 2, his weapon no longer has a spine, it now has volcanoes like his weapon skins from the first game.
- He is the only Scientist variant that wears large goggles as default (besides the Chemist), much like the Scientist himself. However, each goggle eye is different, while the Scientist's are identical.
- He is one of the two Scientist variants who has a longer range of firing, the other being Astronaut.
- When he starts to reload, he reloads his weapon shotgun style, but pressing the button on it.
- He is one of three Scientist variants that wear two shoes, the others being Dr. Toxic and the Zoologist.
- Every once and awhile when the player is standing still, the dinosaur tail on him will wag back and forth.
- It appears that he was already planned to be added into the game before the game's release, as evidenced by a concept art in The Art of Plants vs. Zombies. However, he wasn't released until the Legends of the Lawn DLC.