Welcome to the Vertebrate Workgroup

Vertebrates, such as mammals, birds, and reptiles, have a long history in paleoecological research. Their hard bones and teeth survive in many environments and provide excellent information on past species, communities, and environments.  Fossil mammals are frequently used in establishing biochronologies for sites older than 40 thousand years old.

Ursus americanus

The vertebrate component of Neotoma presently consists of mammal data from the Pleistocene of the contiguous U. S. that was originally captured in the FAUNMAP I database. In Neotoma, the data will be extended to all other vertebrate groups (fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds), include Canada and Alaska, and extend from the Pliocene through the Holocene.

In addition, Neotoma, unlike the original FAUNMAP, will systematically capture data for individual specimens, especially those associated with radiocarbon dates. Work has begun on the literature review for new sites published since 2000. Please send reprints of your new publications to either Russ Graham or Jessica Blois.

The vertebrate data will also interface with other components that include data on stable isotopes and taphonomy. Neotoma will be linked to NEOMAP (MIOMAP + FAUNMAP) for all of the mammal faunas. Contributions from other geographic regions are welcome.

Data priorities:

  1. Clean up Faunmap II and upload to Neotoma/Neomap
  2. Capture new literature (2000-present) for all vertebrates
  3. Capture other vertebrate groups (Kata McCarville is the data steward for birds)
  4. Scan the older literature (pre-2000) and update the database to include sites with less than 10 taxa
  5. Communicate with other databases (both in U.S. and other countries)