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Welcome to Neotoma! Begin here to learn about finding, downloading, and contributing data.

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The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is an international coalition of multiple Constituent Databases.

Data Structure

The Neotoma Database is a set of linked components, supported by a PostgreSQL database server (currently v9.6.17) that contains all the raw data that users have contributed over time.

The database schema can be explored directly (Database Schema), or users can examine the Neotoma Database Manual in more detail.

  • The full database can be downloaded in full through database snapshots.

  • Data can be accessed through the JSON API, a public REST-ful web service (OpenAPI documentation).

  • Users can explore data through supported Neotoma Apps or the neotoma2 R package (see more in Resources).

The IT infrastructure is documented online (, in a living document maintained by the Information Technology Working Group. All code, including SQL functions, API and associated data management packages are published in open GitHub repositories (

What does Neotoma store?


  • 'Raw' Observations on a variety of different proxies (vertebrates, diatoms, pollen, plant macrofossils, testate amoebae, ostracodes, etc.)
  • Multiple types of observations are supported:
    • number of identified specimens, minimum number of individuals, presence/absence
    • information about individual specimens, such as elements, specimen ID, or isotopic values
  • Taxon names
  • Dates (14C, 210Pb, etc.)
  • Age inferences


  • Derived Variables (e.g July mean temperature, species richness)
  • Image files

State of the Database

The most recent State of the Database report including information about recent data contributions, and outstanding issues within the database itself.

Here are some ways to get started...

  1. View our Apps to learn more about searching, exploring, and downloading Neotoma holdings. Our Explorer interactive web application is the easiest and most commonly used method for obtaining data from Neotoma.
  2. Check out the Resources for additional help navigating the Neotoma database ecosystem.
  3. Download a complete database snapshot in PostgreSQL custom-format. This is often preferred by users who wish to develop highly customized data queries or download large numbers of sites.
  4. Consult the Data Usage and Policies page for more information on how to appropriately acknowledge the databases and data contributors