GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 196-10
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


OCON, Samantha B.1, LAMSDELL, James C.2 and BAUER, Jennifer E.1, (1)Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL 32611, (2)Department of Geology and Geography, West Virginia University, 98 Beechurst Avenue, Brooks Hall, Morgantown, WV 26506

The accessibility of big data has revolutionized the analysis of trends in the fossil record and encourages paleontologists to ask large-scale macroevolutionary questions surrounding origination, extinction, and survivorship. Here, we are interested in examining survivorship of Paleozoic arthropods to identify variation between databases and identify areas for database improvement.

There are two major repositories of paleontological data: the Paleobiology Database (PBDB) and iDigBio. The PBDB data are user derived and curated from published literature whereas iDigBio is a repository largely for museum collections. Due to these differences in data acquisition, trends derived from these data may differ. We cleaned the downloaded data and produced survivorship curves through R (including paleobioDB, ridigbio, ggplot2, plyr packages) for PBDB, iDigBio, and one with the combined datasets. These visualizations were compared to published arthropod taxonomic and diversity studies to identify gaps in the current databases.

The analyses produced from the two data sources were largely congruent and we were able to identify missing information. As registered PBDB users, we are able to submit occurrence data to improve the quality of information. More studies of this nature are necessary to improve the quality of our databases, all of our materials will be available through GitHub so others can use our exact methodology for other taxonomic groups.