Useful Online Paleontology Resources

🔵 Directories

  • Geoscience Departments (US & Canada) - The most comprehensive list of links to the websites of US and Canadian geoscience departments available. If you’re looking for information about specific academic geoscience programs, or want to know who’s teaching palaeontology where in North America, this is where you start. Created and maintained by Timothy Heaton.

  • Worldwide Geological Surveys - A fairly comprehensive list of links to the web sites of geological surveys (and similar organizations). Both international and US state surveys are included. Created and maintained by

  • Geological Societies - A list of links to the web sites of professional geological societies and organizations. If your society or association isn’t listed here you might consider contacted with a request to be added. It’s in all our interests to have a comprehensive list of these organizations available. Created and maintained by Wikipedia.

🔵 Paleontological Databases

  • The One Stratigraphy Database - a platform specially designed for the sharing and usage of stratigraphic data. It has the ability to link the existed databases and resources, and create a stratigraphic “big data” network. OneStratigraphy supports AI, VR/AR, parallel computing and other technolofical. It can be used as a powerful tool for research, education and science popularization. The OneStratigraphy project was initiated by Dr. Junxuan Fan in early 2019. The collaboration with other related databases will be created step by step.

  • The Geobiodiversity Database - An integrated system for the management and analysis of stratigraphic and paleontological information, started in 2006 and available online from 2007. The GBDBs goal is to facilitate regional and global scientific collaborations focused on regional and global correlation, quantitative stratigraphy, systematics, biodiversity dynamics, paleogeography, and paleoecology. This database is unique among global, public-access databases in that it is a section-based online database system, incorporating data from a wide range of disciplines of stratigraphy and paleontology, with inherent interrelationship between different kinds of data sets. Several Windows-based visualization and analysis applications, either fully integrated with the database or supported by subset-export functions, have been developed to make the database more useful as a scientific and educational tool. Created and maintained by the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology & Stratigraphy.

  • The Paleobiology Database - A non-governmental, non-profit public resource for paleontological data. The PBDB 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 organisms of all geological ages, as well data services to allow easy access to data for independent development of analytical tools, visualization software, and applications of all types. The Database’s broader goal is to encourage and enable data-driven collaborative efforts that address large-scale paleobiological questions. Created and maintained by Shanan Peters.

  • Sepkoski's Online Genus Database - A direct port of the data published in the Sepkoski 2002 monograph. This database was created to facilitate easy searching, and the downloading search results, on the basis of Evolutionary Fauna, Phylum, or Class. Customized lists of genera and their stratigraphic ranges (according to Sepkoski), as well as summaries of genus richness and taxonomic rates of evolution, are available. Created and maintained by Shanan Peters.

  • Digital Atlas of Ancient Life - A collection on interactive 3D models of fossil specimens drawn from the collections of the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI). These are part of an ongoing PRI specimen digitization project. All models are public domain and may be downloaded, used, and even 3D printed free-of-charge. Created and maintained by the Paleontological Research Institution.

  • Ocean Drilling Program Legacy - Access to all information collected and published by the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Project (ODP).

  • Neogene Marine Biota of Tropical America - Contains images and information on taxa collected as part of two large multi-taxa fossil sampling programs: (1) the Panama Paleontology Project (PPP) coordinated by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama; (2) the Neogene Paleontology of the northern Dominican Republic (DR) project coordinated by the Natural History Museum in Basel, Switzerland. NMITA is designed for use in research and education in systematics and evolutionary paleontology. Partial information is currently available for bryozoans, corals (zooxanthellate and azooxanthellate), molluscs (gastropods and bivalves), ostracodes, and fish. Created and maintained by the University of Iowa Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

  • Tree of Life Project (ToL) - A collection of information about biodiversity compiled collaboratively by hundreds of expert and amateur contributors. Its goal is to contain a page with pictures, text, and other information for every species and for each group of organisms, living or extinct. Created and maintained by the ToL Home Team.

  • Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) - Information and images that aspires to include all species known to science designed to increase awareness and understanding of living nature in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource. Created and maintained by the EoL Secretariat.

  • Species 2000 - An autonomous federation of taxonomic database custodians, involving taxonomists throughout the world whose goal is to collate a uniform and validated index to the world's known species (plants, animals, fungi and microbes). Created and maintained by the Species 2000 Secretariat.

  • Ancient Earth Globe - a very well done 3D simulation of earth paleogeography from 750 ma to Recent. Ocean basins, continental platforms, land areas and mountain ranges are rendered on a rotating globe whose orientation position can be altered interactively. Clouds and associated weather patterns have even been thrown in for good measure! More a teaching than a research tool, but quite striking all the same. Created and maintained by

🔵 Infrastructure for Paleontological Data Analysis


  • Morpho-tools - A web-accessible means of performing common geometric morphometric analysis on their data, online. No special software is required, and all algorithms are transparent and based on standard references. Created and maintained by Jon Kreiger.

  • MorphoJ - An integrated program package for doing geometric morphometrics. The goal of the program is to provide a platform for the most important types of analyses in geometric morphometrics in a user-friendly package. Created and maintained by Chris Klingerberg.

  • Geomorph - A program system to read, manipulate, and digitize landmark data, generate shape variables via Procrustes analysis for points, curves and surfaces, perform shape analyses, and provide graphical depictions of shapes and patterns of shape variation. Created and maintained by Dean Adams.

Image Analysis
  • NIH Image - An image processing and analysis program for the Macintosh. It was developed at the Research Services Branch (RSB) of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Created and maintained by Wayne Rasband.

  • ImageJ - A Java-based image processing program inspired by NIH Image for the Macintosh. It runs, either as an online applet or as a downloadable application, on any computer with a Java 1.4 or later virtual machine. ImageJ can display, edit, analyze, process, save and print 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit images, read many image formats (incl. TIFF, GIF, JPEG, BMP, DICOM, FITS and "raw") and supports "stacks", a series of images that share a single window. Created and maintained by Wayne Rasband.

General Quantitative Data Analysis
  • PAST - Software for scientific data analysis, with functions for data manipulation, plotting, univariate and multivariate statistics, ecological analysis, time series and spatial analysis, morphometrics and stratigraphy. Created and maintained by Oyvind Hammer.

Paleoecological Data Analysis
  • Roopnarine's Food Weblog - A very nicely done series of extended essays, broadly on the subject of "systems paleoecology", that actually focuses (mostly) on the mathematical concepts and data-analysis methods used routinely to support research in this field along with results of some of the author's work, written by a world-class practitioner and all done in form of a "blog". Created and maintained by Peter Roopnarine.

Phylogenetic Data Analysis