Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mapping Worldwide Fossil Finds

The PBDB Navigator is an interactive map which allows you to explore worldwide fossil discoveries by location, time and taxonomy. The map provides a really easy to use navigational tool to browse the global Paleobiology Database.

Each dot on the map represents a collection of fossils. If you select a dot on the map you can view detailed information on the fossil collection number, number of occurrences, the time period, the location and the reference of where these occurrences came from.

Beneath the map is a geological timeline which allows you to filter the map by a specific geologic time period. If you select a time period from the timeline the timeline will zoom in to the selected timescale. You can now select a time period to filter the map to only show fossil records from your chosen geologic time.

You can also use the 'paleogeography' button in the main map menu to change the map view from the modern world map to a paleo continental map for your selected geologic time.

You can also search the fossil records by specific organism using the 'taxa browser' button in the map menu. This allows you to filter the records by taxonomic name. For example you could search for the genus 'Canis' to show only Canis fossils on the map.

You can combine the taxonomy and geologic time filters to search for specific species fossils within a defined time period. For example, you could select the genus 'Canis' from the taxonomic filter and the period 'Cenozoic' from the geologic timeline to view a map of all the Canis fossils found around the world from the Cenozoic period.

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