What’s that fossil? An app has answers

Date:

Share post:

Fossil hunters now have a mobile app to help them identify specimens in the field. The Digital Atlas of Ancient Life is a free iOS app for iPhone and iPad that allows users to search for photos and information about fossils from three geological periods. It’s a completely packaged app that can be downloaded to a device and doesn’t require cell service for use—which can be handy in rural and remote locations, says Ohio University geologist Alycia Stigall.

What’s that fossil? An app has answers
Isorophus cincinnatiensis of Hamilton County, Ohio, is one of hundreds of species identified
 in the app. The specimen is a type of echinoderm (a cousin of a starfish) that was relatively
 common in the Late Ordovician seas in the Cincinnati area 
[Credit: Alycia Stigall]

Stigall and a team of Ohio University students contributed to the National Science Foundation-funded project by digitizing data on 30,000 specimens found in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana from the Ordovician Period, 443-453 million years ago. Colleagues at San Jose State University and University of Kansas, which produced the app, provided data from the Pennsylvanian Period (300-323 million years ago) and the Neogene Period (23-2 million years ago). The app features data on about 800 species.

Many fossil specimens collected and described by scientists are housed in natural history museums or in laboratory drawers and are not accessible to the public, Stigall notes. But new software tools and apps now make it possible to digitize that information and put it in the hands of teachers, students, and backyard fossil enthusiasts, as well as the scientific community, she says.

The app is available at www.digitalatlastofancientlife.org.

Author: Andrea Gibson | Source: University of Ohio [March 23, 2016]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Astronomer points the way for exoplanet search

Though the search for planets around other stars, or exoplanets, is showing researchers that planets are abundant in...

No escaping ocean plastic: 37 million bits of litter on one of world’s remotest islands

The beaches of one of the world's most remote islands have been found to be polluted with the...

Changing body shape affected balance and posture during evolution of dinosaurs

Research published on 24 April 2013 from The Royal Veterinary College, in the journal Nature, uses realistic three-dimensional...

Calcification: Does it pay off in the future ocean?

An international research team has calculated the costs and benefits of calcification for phytoplankton and the impact of...

Roman mausoleum found under illegal waste dump

An ancient Roman mausoleum has been found under an illegal toxic waste dump near Naples. The sprawling 2nd-century...

New report confirms almost half of Africa’s lions facing extinction

A new report concludes that nearly half of Africa's wild lion populations may decline to near extinction over...

Jericho’s skyscraper sought to intimidate masses

The world’s first skyscraper was built by early farmers, who were frightened into erecting a solar marker by...

New atmospheric compound tied to climate change and human health issues discovered

An international research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Helsinki has discovered...