NMITA contains images and information on fossil specimens deposited in scattered museums across the world, and makes these data readily available, free of charge to a broad public audience. However, NMITA is not intended to serve as a specimen database or as a locality database. It contains specimen information only for illustrated specimens, which consist both of specimens collected in the targeted projects and selected type and voucher specimens. It contains locality information only at a very general level (e.g., locality numbers; names of countries and islands or basins; names of groups, formations, members, and beds; names of epochs, ages, and biozones in the geologic time scale), and does not provide detailed documentation for stratigraphic or paleoenvironmental interpretations. It also does not provide a comprehensive locality bibliography. Wherever possible, NMITA will share information with the museums housing the illustrated specimens to obtain specimen data, and with locality databases such as the PPP database to obtain locality data.
NMITA is intended for use in research, education, and collections management. For researchers, it provides a taxonomic inventory and documentation for taxonomic decisions made in analyses of biodiversity through geologic time. NMITA is essential for maintaining consistency in identification procedures, and provides a starting point for more rigorous phylogenetic analyses. For teaching, NMITA provides illustrated morphologic glossaries and identification keys; and a series of WWW laboratory exercises are incorporated for introductory paleontology courses. The identification tools and sharing of specimen data will also be useful in collections management.
At present, NMITA focuses on material collected by the DR and PPP collecting projects. However, it is not limited to these projects, and may be expanded in the future to include other projects that use rigorous sampling protocols and high resolution stratigraphic methods, as deemed appropriate by the NMITA staff. NMITA currently focuses on marine animals and protists for which comparable taxonomic summaries are not readily available. Finally, NMITA currently focuses on the Neogene of Tropical America. Although NMITA will maintain its focus on Tropical America, it may be expanded in the future to include other geologic periods and epochs (e.g., Quaternary, Oligocene) represented in this region.
Necessary permission has been obtained from appropriate sources for use of all previously-published images that are included in NMITA. Similar permission will be obtained as new images are added to NMITA in the future.
All World-Wide Web pages in NMITA are copyrighted by the University of Iowa (1996-2000), unless otherwise stated. Individual images and data on web pages are copyrighted by original contributors and/or their institutions (as indicated on individual web pages); and NMITA has obtained permission to use them on this web site. Textual information may be used for personal, scientific, and educational purposes without obtaining permission. Commercial and other users must obtain written permission from the NMITA staff. All publications or reports disseminating information contained in NMITA must acknowledge NMITA as the source.
For additional information, see the University of Iowa Policy on Acceptable Use of Technology Resources.
NMITA bears no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All data should be verified by examining the actual specimens in museums in consultation with the curatorial staff.
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Last updated on August 2006 -afb.