The fossil calibration database: A new resource for divergence dating

Ksepka, Daniel T., Parham, James F., Allman, James F., Benton, Michael J., Carrano, Matthew T., Cranston, Karen A., Donoghue, Philip C.J., Head, Jason J., Hermsen, Elizabeth J., Irmis, Randall B., Joyce, Walter G., Kohli, Manpreet, Lamm, Kristin S., Leehr, Dan, Patane, Jose L., Polly, P. David, Phillips, Matthew J., Smith, N. Adam, Smith, Nathan D., Van Tuinen, Marcel, Ware, Jessica L., & Warnock, Rachel C. M. (2015) The fossil calibration database: A new resource for divergence dating. Systematic Biology, 64(5), pp. 853-859.

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Fossils provide the principal basis for temporal calibrations, which are critical to the accuracy of divergence dating analyses. Translating fossil data into minimum and maximum bounds for calibrations is the most important, and often least appreciated, step of divergence dating. Properly justified calibrations require the synthesis of phylogenetic, paleontological, and geological evidence and can be difficult for non-specialists to formulate. The dynamic nature of the fossil record (e.g., new discoveries, taxonomic revisions, updates of global or local stratigraphy) requires that calibration data be updated continually lest they become obsolete. Here, we announce the Fossil Calibration Database (, a new open-access resource providing vetted fossil calibrations to the scientific community. Calibrations accessioned into this database are based on individual fossil specimens and follow best practices for phylogenetic justification and geochronological constraint. The associated Fossil Calibration Series, a calibration-themed publication series at Palaeontologia Electronica, will serve as one key pipeline for peer-reviewed calibrations to enter the database.

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6 citations in Scopus
6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 86217
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Fossil calibration database, Divergence dating
DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syv025
ISSN: 1063-5157
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2015 23:44
Last Modified: 19 May 2016 01:28

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