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The New Zealand Fossil Record File: a unique database of biological history

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posted on 21.08.2020 by CD Clowes, James Crampton, KJ Bland, KS Collins, JG Prebble, JI Raine, DP Strogen, MG Terezow, Thomas Womack
© 2020 The Royal Society of New Zealand. The New Zealand Fossil Record File, an essentially complete compilation of New Zealand’s known fossil record, with additional records from parts of Antarctica, SW Pacific, and elsewhere, is, to the best of our knowledge, unique. It has developed collaboratively, with contributions from university, government, industry, and avocational paleontologists and geologists. The distinctive Fossil Record Number has become an icon of New Zealand geological literature since inception of the original paper-based archive in the 1940s. Subsequently, the file has been digitised and currently holds >100,000 locality records and >1,000,000 individual taxonomic identifications spanning numerous plant and animal phyla. These numbers are continually growing. The database contains contextual information on geographic location, collection, stratigraphy and lithology of the fossil localities as well as taxonomic analyses that retain original identifications yet accommodate re-assignments. The data have been widely applied, initially for mapping, establishing age, depositional environment, etc., and more recently including in quantitative biostratigraphy, assessing completeness of the fossil record, understanding biodiversity history, extinction risk assessments, and climate analysis. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of the history of the Fossil Record File, indicate the general nature of the data it contains, and showcase a number of innovative applications of this most valuable resource.

History

Preferred citation

Clowes, C. D., Crampton, J. S., Bland, K. J., Collins, K. S., Prebble, J. G., Raine, J. I., Strogen, D. P., Terezow, M. G. & Womack, T. (2020). The New Zealand Fossil Record File: a unique database of biological history. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/00288306.2020.1799827

Journal title

New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics

Publication date

01/01/2020

Pagination

1-10

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

29/07/2020

ISSN

0028-8306

eISSN

1175-8791

Language

en

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