Just out @ Palaeontologia Electronica
RNames, a stratigraphical database designed for the statistical analysis of fossil occurrences – the Ordovician diversification as a case study
Björn Kröger and Kari Lintulaakso
Names (rnames.luomus.fi/) is an open access relational database linking stratigraphic units with each other that are considered to be time-equivalent or time overlapping. RNames is also a tool to correlate among stratigraphic units. The structure of the database allows for a wide range of queries and applications. Currently three algorithms are available, which calculate a set of correlation tables with Ordovician stratigraphic units time binned into high-resolution chronostratigraphic slices (Global Ordovician Stages, Stage Slices, Time Slices).
The ease of availability of differently binned stratigraphic units and the potential to create new schemes are the main advantages and goals of RNames. Different time-binned stratigraphic units can be matched with other databases and allow for simultaneous up-to-date analyses of stratigraphically constrained estimates in various schemes. We exemplify these new possibilities with our compiled Ordovician data and analyse fossil collections of the Paleobiology Database based on the three different binning schemes. The presented diversity curves are the first sub-stage level, global, marine diversity curves for the Ordovician. A comparison among the curves reveals that differences in time slicing have a major effect on the shape of the curve. Despite uncertainties in Early and Late Ordovician diversities, our calculations confirm earlier estimates that Ordovician diversification climaxed globally during the Darriwilian stage.
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