The Paleobiology Database

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The PaleoDB is a database of fossil occurrences. Data points are tied to publications, and may contain additional information such as morphological measurements and images. The current incarnation was started around 2000, but it is based on data from much earlier, including the Sepkoski database. There is some relationship between PaleoDB and CHRONOS.

"The Paleobiology Database is a public resource for the global scientific community. It has been organized and operated by a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, international group of paleobiological researchers. Its purpose is to provide global, collection-based occurrence and taxonomic data for marine and terrestrial animals and plants of any geological age, as well as web-based software for statistical analysis of the data. The project's wider, long-term goal is to encourage collaborative efforts to answer large-scale paleobiological questions by developing a useful database infrastructure and bringing together large data sets.”

  • Divergence times working group - jointly supported by NESCent ?

The DB contains:

  • publications
  • taxonomic names
  • specimen occurrences (one occurrence per collection?)
  • collections (a particular site, as described in a particular article?)
  • contributors

All of the above information is linked as appropriate, but all data must be linked to a "reference" (publication).

Much information can be generated, including:

  • maps of specimen occurrences
  • downloads of extracts from the DB

There are three levels of access control:

  • public
  • enterer
  • authorizer

Citation guidelines:

  • cite major contributors by name
  • cite PaleoDB
  • ... more?

Data creation interface:

  • must select a reference first
  • once a reference is selected, it is implicit -- everything you do from then on assumes that the reference is the same

General notes:

  • a small number of taxa account for a large number of occurrences in the DB
  • they are working to integrate with EOL.