PBDB Data Service 1.2 v1 > Fossil occurrences

DESCRIPTION

The URL paths described in this section provide access to information about the fossil occurrences represented in the Paleobiology Database. These occurrences may be selected by a variety of criteria including: name, location, age, enterer, and taxonomic identification.

Follow this link for more information on the use of taxonomic names in this data service.

SYNOPSIS

The following URL paths are available:

Single fossil occurrence

This operation returns information about a single occurrence, selected by its identifier. Depending upon which output blocks you select, the response will contain some fields describing the occurrence and some describing the collection to which it belongs. For example:

Lists of fossil occurrences

This operation returns information about multiple occurrences, selected according to the parameters you provide. You can select occurrences by taxonomy, geography, age, environment, and many other criteria. If you select the csv or tsv output format, the output you get will be very similar to the Classic occurrence download. For example:

Geographic summary of fossil occurrences

This operation summarizes the selected set of occurrences by mapping them onto geographic clusters. Its purpose is to provide for the generation of maps displaying the geographic distribution of fossil occurrences. You can specify any of the parameters that are available for the occs/list operation described above. Multiple levels of geographic resolution are available. For example:

Taxonomy of fossil occurrences

This operation returns the taxonomic hierarchy of a selected set of fossil occurrences. You can select the set of occurrences to be analyzed using any of the parameters that are valid for the occs/list operation. You can make requests using both both operations with identical parameters, which will give you both a list of occurrences and a summary tabulation by taxon. If you include the block subcounts, then each taxon record will include a count of the number of species, genera, etc. from the selected set of occurrences that are contained within that taxon. For example:

Fossil diversity over time (full computation)

This operation returns a tabulation of fossil diversity over time, based on a selected set of occurrences. You can select the set of occurrences to be analyzed using any of the parameters that are valid for the occs/list operation. This operation can take up a lot of server time, so if you just want to display a quick overview plot please use the occs/quickdev operation. For example:

Fossil diversity over time (quick computation)

This operation returns a tabulation of fossil diversity over time, similar to that provided by occs/diversity. It returns results much more quickly, but returns only the basic counts of distinct taxa appearing in each time interval. This operation is intended for quick overview plots; if you want to do detailed diversity analyses, we suggest using the occs/diversity operation instead, or downloading a list of occurrences and performing your own procedure to tabulate the diversity of taxa over time. For example:

Most prevalent taxa

This operation returns a list of the most prevalent taxa (according to number of occurrences) from among the selected set of fossil occurrences. These taxa will be phyla and/or classes, depending upon the size of the list and the requested number of entries. Major taxa that are roughly at the level of classes may be included even if they are not not formally ranked at that level. Unlike most of the operations of this data service, the parameter limit is significant in determining the elements of the result. A larger limit will tend to show classes instead of phyla. For example:

Stratigraphy of fossil occurrences

This operation returns information about the geological strata in which fossil occurrences were found. You can pass identical filtering parameters to occs/list and occs/strata which will give you both a list of occurrences and a summary by stratum. For example:

Bibliographic references for fossil occurrences

This operation returns information about the bibliographic references associated with fossil occurrences. You can pass identical filtering parameters to occs/list and to occs/refs, which will give you both a list of occurrences and a list of the associated references. For example:

Occurrences grouped by bibliographic reference

This operation returns information about multiple occurrences, selected with respect to some combination of the attributes of the occurrences and the attributes of the bibliographic reference(s) from which they were entered. You can use this operation in conjunction with occs/refs to show, for each selected reference, all of the occurrences entered from it, or all which meet certain criteria. For example:

Taxa associated with fossil occurrences grouped by bibliographic reference

This operation returns information about taxonomic names associated with fossil occurrences, grouped according to the bibliographic reference in which they are mentioned. You can use this operation in conjunction with /data1.2/occs/refs_doc.html to show, for each reference, all of the taxa entered from it that are associated with at least one occurrence from the selected set. For example:

Opinions for fossil occurrences

This operation returns information about taxonomic opinions associated with fossil occurrences. You can use this to retrieve just the opinions relevant to any selected set of occurrences. For example:

 

This service is provided by the Paleobiology Database, hosted by the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

If you have questions about this data service, or wish to report a bug, please contact the database administrator at admin@paleobiodb.org