pforams@mikrotax - Introduction
This site is intended to grow into a major reference source for the taxonomy of planktonic foraminifera. These beautiful microfossils are a key tool in modern geological research widely used in biostratigraphy, palaeoceanography and study of evolutionary pattern and process. Consequently they are used by a diverse set of students, academic researchers and industrial geologists all of whom need data on their taxonomy, identification, and geological ranges. The site is not aimed at any particular set of users but to act as a central reference source accesible to anyone interested in the group.
The site has essentially been created by combining data from previous databases and syntheses - especially the Chronos database - and migrating it into a database system - mikrotax - initially created for the Nannotax website. The project to do this has been funded by a UK Natural Environment Research council grant to Profs. Bridget Wade and Paul Bown of University College London.
Paul Bown, Brian Huber, Bridget Wade, Jeremy Young
A few features of the site
- Browsable interface - the site is arranged taxonomically but with lots of representative images and links on all pages so you can easily browse it.
- Neptune database - occurrence data from the Neptune database is used to provide plots of frequency of occurrence of all Cenozoic taxa.
- Taxonomic search - swift search by taxon name is available from the top and bottom of every page.
- Advanced search - alternatively complex searches can be set up based on any combination of morphological features, geological age, taxonomy, etc.
- Time control - you can select a time interval of interest (e.g. Albian) and taxa occurring in that interval will be highlighted.
- References - there is a searchable bibliography of ca. 1000 references.
- User comments - there are comments boxes on every page and a forum page for broader questions or comments. Please use these!
- User guide - it is quite a large site so we recommend taking a look at this guide as well as browsing.
Coverage to date and plans
Extant and Neogene (200 taxa, 380 images)
Basic coverage of the Neogene and extant taxa, excluding taxa which originated in the Oligocene. This part is a work in progress with most content compiled from standard references, especially Kennett & Srinivasan (1983). We would greatly value any input.
Paleogene (300 taxa, 1150 images)
- Oligocene - no coverage yet but an Atlas of Oligocene Planktonic Foraminifera has been produced by the Paleogene Planktonic Foraminiferal Working Group (lead by Prof. Bridget Wade). This volume has been submitted as a Cushman Foundation special publication, and the content will appear here after publication.
- Eocene - rather comprehensive and up to date coverage, using content from the Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera (Pearson et al. 2006), as prepared between 1997 and 2006 by members of the Eocene Working Group
- Paleocene - rather comprehensive and up to date coverage, using content from the Atlas of Paleocene Planktonic Foraminifera (Olsson et al. 1999), as prepared between 1987 and 1996 by members of the Paleocene Planktonic Foraminiferal Working Group
Mesozoic (500 taxa, 1130 images)
Extensive content derived from the Chronos online database developed by the Mesozoic Planktonic Foraminiferal Working Group. Work on this part of the database is under active development by the working group, lead by Brian Huber and Maria Rose Petrizzo. Please contact them if you would like to assist.
Catalog (2200 taxa, 2800 images)
- This is a separate database of original descriptions and type-specimen illustrations. Much content has been transfered from the Chronos database (including many new images of type-specimens and translations of original descriptions) and additional content is being added.
Kennett, J.P. & Srinivasan, M.S., (1983). Neogene Planktonic Foraminifera. Hutchinson Ross Publishing Co., Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 1-265 pp.
Olsson, R.K.; Hemleben, C.; Berggren, W.A. & Huber, B.T., (1999). Atlas of Paleocene Planktonic Foraminifera. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, 85: 1-252 pp.
Pearson, P.N.; Olsson, R.K.; Huber, B.T.; Hemleben, C. & Berggren, W.A., (2006). Atlas of Eocene planktonic foraminifera. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research Special Publication, 41: 1-507.