The Neogene Marine Biota of Tropical America (“NMITA”) Database: Integrating Data from the Dominican Republic Project
The NMITA database (http://nmita.geology.uiowa.edu) serves as a central data repository for the Dominican Republic Project and members of the team have been actively contributing data as the project progresses. NMITA was originally designed as a taxonomic database, the main purpose of which is to document the taxa that have been identified in paleontological collections from the Neogene of Tropical America as well as the taxonomic concepts and morphologic features that have been used in making identifications. NMITA thereby provides the taxonomic foundation for spatial and temporal analyses of biodiversity. NMITA is similar to a taxonomic monograph in that it contains high quality images and information about taxa (i.e., authorship, synonyms, type specimens) as well as morphologic characters used in their identification and stratigraphic and geographic occurrence data. The taxa in NMITA currently consist of: ~225 scleractinian coral species (zooxanthellate & azooxanthellate), ~330 bryozoan species (cheilostome & cyclostome), ~300 bivalve genera/subgenera, ~50 gastropod species (columbellid, muricid, marginellid), ~100 benthic foraminifera species, ~100 ostracode species, and ~230 teleost and elasmobranch fish species. Information has been contributed by specialists on the systematics of these groups, who are based at many different academic and museum institutions in the Americas and Europe (see http://nmita.geology.uiowa.edu/nmtstaff.htm for complete listing). In addition to the DR Project, the database also serves the Panama Paleontology Project led by J.B.C. Jackson and A.G. Coates of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, as well as other team-based paleontological collection projects that use rigorous sampling and geologic-age dating protocols.
KeywordsDominican Republic Stratigraphic Unit Ostracode Species Bryozoan Species Zooxanthellate Coral
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