Peripatus Home Page  pix1Black.gif (807 bytes)  Paleontology Page Updated: 27 Jan 2013 

Paleontology Page

This page offers a broad (and necessarily idiosyncratic) range of selected topics from the whole field of paleontology, with an emphasis upon major ‘landmarks’ in the history of life.

I have tried to provide complementary material to the usual fare available to fellow non-professionals. For example, several of the articles on this site concern metazoan origins and early evolution. However, the Burgess Shale is pretty well done to death elsewhere, so I haven’t bothered to write my own ‘Burgess Shale page.’ Instead I’ve begun pages about Chengjiang, Doushantuo, and Sirius Passet.

This site is constantly under construction. In particular, links enclosed in <angle brackets> are still very much in development and have yet to be checked back against the original references – follow them at your own peril. Any other suggestions for improvement are always welcome – please email me.

General Topics



Fossil Record

  • Trace Fossils
  • Index Fossils
  • What are lagerstätten?
  • The Fossil Record 2 is a near-complete listing of the diversity of life through time, compiled at the level of the family. We have made the basic data available in various forms so you can download all or part of the listing, or search for particular families, orders, phyla. If you have access to a Java reader, you can manipulate and plot the data as well.

Taxonomic Groups / Assemblages


Topics by Age

<Phanerozoic Era (column)>

Vendian-Cambrian Boundary (column)

<Proterozoic Era>

<Archean Era>

<Hadean Era>


Non-Commercial Sites

Commercial Sites

Good fossil specimens are available for sale on the Internet. The following sites sell fossils. This list is by no means comprehensive and just because a site isn’t listed doesn’t mean it isn’t any good. However, I have purchased specimens from each of these sites myself, and can attest that they are real sites, where the pictures are an accurate guide to the specimens that eventually arrive in the mail.

Additional Resources

PalaeosLogo.jpg (3679 bytes) Shim1Pel.gif (799 bytes) Palaeos: The Trace of Life on Earth.
An excellent and comprehensive site developed by Alan Kazlev and Augustus White.
Digital Library for Earth System Education
DLESE is the Digital Library for Earth System Education, a geoscience community resource that supports teaching and learning about the Earth system. DLESE is funded by the National Science Foundation and is being built by a community of educators, students, and scientists to support Earth system education at all levels.
PSIgateLogo.gif (4488 bytes)

PSIgate is a free service that offers access to high quality web resources in the physical sciences, including earth sciences [read more].


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