By Katie Anderson
We have all heard the concept of dinosaurs being all around us, with the descendants of birds and chickens or close relatives through crocodiles. But what if we told you that dinosaurs and other fossils could very well be in your backyard? The Paleobiology Database is a public database that tracks fossil occurrences around the world. The database is run by an international non-governmental group of paleontologists who have verified the over 1.5 million occurrences and over 230,000 collections. Fossils have been discovered on all seven continents as well as across the world’s oceans. Interested in a specific time period(s)? The database has the ability to search for fossils all the way down to subdivisions of periods. Exploring the site, viewers can also adjust the map to view the continents in previous positions. One of my personal favorite time periods to explore is the Jurassic Period (cue the Jurassic Park theme anyone?) In addition to viewing the map at the global scale, the map is scalable to the national geographic level. Check out all the different fossil discoveries in just this section of the continental United States!
Across the explosion of color are meticulously curated datasets for each discovery, with the dataset being available for download. So whether you want to become an amateur paleontologist or you’re just a fan of incredible maps, it is incredible to know that ancient history is all around us (just hopefully not the crocodiles).