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The Paleobiology Database application programming interface

  • Shanan E. Peters (a1) and Michael McClennen (a1)

The Paleobiology Database (PBDB; consists of geographically and temporally explicit, taxonomically identified fossil occurrence data. The taxonomy utilized by the PBDB is not static, but is instead dynamically generated using an algorithm applied to separately managed taxonomic authority and opinion data. The PBDB owes its existence to many individuals, some of whom have entered more than 1.26 million fossil occurrences and over 570,000 taxonomic opinions, and some of whom have developed and maintained supporting infrastructure and analysis tools. Here, we provide an overview of the data model currently used by the PBDB and then briefly describe how this model is exposed via an Application Programming Interface (API). Our objective is to outline how PBDB data can now be accessed within individual scientific workflows, used to develop independently managed educational and scientific applications, and accessed to forge dynamic, near real-time connections to other data resources.

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  • ISSN: 0094-8373
  • EISSN: 1938-5331
  • URL: /core/journals/paleobiology
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