The Paleontological Society was founded in 1916, when the need arose for scientific unification, communication and determination of major directions of paleontological research. The emergence of the Russian Paleontological Society was an outstanding event in the history of Russian paleontology. Among the 51 founding members, there were famous paleontologists, zoologists and botanists. N.N. Yakovlev was elected the first chairman of the Society’s Council. Outstanding paleontologists of that time - N.I. Andrusov, A.A. Borisyak, M.D. Zalessky, A.N. Krishtofovich, M.E. Yanishevsky and others became the council’s members. A.P. Karpinsky was elected the first honorary member.
The organization is a voluntary scientific society having the status of a legal entity and carries out its activities on contributions of its full members and collective members. Main task of the Paleontological Society is the continuity of personnel and preservation of paleontological collections, the continuation and development of paleontological and stratigraphic studies.
Since 1955, sessions of the Paleontological Society have been held annually. They address a wide range of topical issues of paleontology and stratigraphy: problems of systematics, classification, dynamics of diversity and evolution of the organic world; ontogenesis, phylogenesis and taphonomy of fossils; ecosystem reconstructions and ecological-biospheric aspects of paleontology; issues of biostratigraphic correlation, paleobiogeography; the history of paleontology and others. Sessions are traditionally held at VSEGEI. In 2016, the Paleontological Society celebrated its 100th anniversary. On April 4-8, 2016, VSEGEI hosted the 62nd Anniversary Session of the Paleontological Society titled “100th Anniversary of the Paleontological Society of Russia. Problems and Prospects of Paleontological Studies."