Paleontology Database

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Paleontology » Database » Search FAQ:

The Paleontology database contains 157,495 specimens and 41,297 images of specimens and cards.

Commonly encountered questions and database search tips are provided below. If you have a question that cannot be resolved here, contact us (rceng@uw.edu or mrivin@uw.edu).

Search FAQ:
What’s the best field to search for a taxonomic group?
Try searching in the genus field. This field houses the most specific taxonomic information available. This could be the genus (e.g., Triceratops) but it could also be a broader taxonomic group if the specimen can’t be identified precisely (e.g., Ornithischia or Dinosauria or Reptilia).
How come there’s no image, when it says there should be one?
Some of the images in the database show sensitive information that’s restricted from public view. For these, the associated image won’t be displayed, and the specimen record will merely indicate images are present.
Do you have precise locations for specimens?
Many specimens have detailed textual descriptions of the locality, plus geographic coordinates. However, precise localities are hidden from public view to protect sensitive sites. Generalized localities are displayed on the map as rectangles measuring 1 degree latitude by 1 degree longitude with the corners aligned to a fixed grid corresponding to integer values of degrees latitude or longitude. The actual location of a specimen may fall anywhere within the rectangle.
Search Operators:
  • Search terms are not case-sensitive.
  • Partial values or ranges of values are accepted in most fields by using one of the operators below.
OperatorUsage
%Partial text match (text fields only). Example: "Cam%" in Genus will match all genera beginning with "Cam"
>Greater than (numeric fields only). Example: ">1990" in Year will match all specimens collected after 1990.
>=Greater than or equal (numeric fields only). Example: ">=1990" in Year will match all specimens collected on or after 1990.
<Less than (numeric fields only). Example: "<1990" in Year will match all specimens collected before 1990.
<=Less than or equal (numeric fields only). Example: "<=1990" in Year will match all specimens collected on or before 1990.
...Range of values (numeric fields only). Example: "1990...1995" in Year will match all specimens collected from 1990 to 1995.
!=Not equal to (any field). Example: "!=Arthropoda" in Phylum will exclude specimens of Arthropoda.
=""Empty value - can use either single or double quotes (any field). Example: "" in Genus will match specimens that lack a genus.
Notice and Disclaimer:
This site presents data and images of specimens in the paleontological collections of the University of Washington Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (UWBM). The UWBM makes reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, but cannot make warranties as to its accuracy. Outdated names, erroneous identifications, and erroneous locality information may still be included. Researchers are strongly encouraged to verify all data by direct examination of the specimens and records. We would appreciate notification of any discrepancies or errors (rceng@uw.edu or mrivin@uw.edu). The UWBM and its staff are not responsible for damages, injury or loss due to the use of these data.

UWBM data may be used by individual researchers or research groups, but they may not be repackaged, resold, or redistributed in any form without the express written consent of the museum’s executive director. If any of these records are used in an analysis or report, theUWBM must be notified, and the provenance of the original data must be acknowledged.

The Paleontology databases contains some records and data that cannot be publicly released and are excluded from this search interface. Inquiries about restricted information should be directed to rceng@uw.edu or mrivin@uw.edu

Please read the Burke Museum copyright notice before using UWBM data or images in publications.
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