Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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Carboniferous

 

Table 1. Tables and Fields of the ETE Database

 

Locality Table (LOC)
Locality ID number integer (Primary key)
Locality Name c30 The name of the locality.
Locality Type c1 The type of fossil organisms found at the locality.
Dating Method c9 The method used to assign a geologic age-range to the locality.
Maximum Age float The maximum age limit of the locality, in Ma.
MaxBFA c25 The specific basis for a maximum age assignment.
Fraction of Age - MaxFrac c9 A specified fraction of a non-absolute time unit.
Minimum Age float The minimum age limit of the locality, in Ma.
MinBFA c25 The specific basis for a minimum age assignment.
Fraction of Age - MinFrac c9 A specified fraction of a non-absolute time unit.
Chronostratigraphic Age c20 A chronostratigraphic unit, chron, biozone, biostratigraphic unit, etc., to which the locality can be assigned.
Age Comment c120 A comment field for the age assignment.
Latitude c14, float The latitude of the locality (both string and decimal forms).
Longitude c14, float The longitude of the locality (both string and decimal forms).
Country c20 Country where locality is found.
State c20 State, province, etc., where the locality is found (second order political division).
County c20 County, parish, etc., where the locality is found (third order political division).
Site Area c10 The approximate area that the fossil locality covers.
General Locality? c1 An indicator of whether the locality is a "general" locality - a device to allow users to create a "virtual" locality to assign a general location to important specimens/samples whose exact provenience is not known.
Locality Detail c255 Details of geographical location.
Group c30 The stratigraphic group in which the locality is found.
Formation c30 The stratigraphic formation in which the locality is found.
Member c30 The stratigraphic member in which the locality is found.
Bed c30 Name of stratigraphic bed (if applicable).
Datum Plane c50 The basis for placement of a locality in a measured section.
Top of Sample Unit float The distance of the top of the locality sample unit from the datum plane.
Bottom of Sample Unit float The distance of the bottom of the locality sample unit from the datum plane.
Rock Type c15 The general rock type in which the fossils are found.
Short Descriptor c20 A one- or two-word descriptor of the lithology in the Rock Type field.
Lithology Comments c120 Comment field for describing lithology.
Sedimentary Environment 1 c13 The general sedimentary environment represented at the locality.
Sedimentary Environment 2 c15 The more specific sedimentary environment represented at the locality.
Event/Circumstance c15 The kind of sedimentological event or circumstance associated with the formation of the fossil deposit.
Sedimentary Environment Comments c50 Comments on the sedimentary environment.
Climate Type c15 The general inferred climatic regime of the locality.
Biome c15 The inferred biome of the locality.
Vegetation Height c4 Height of the vegetation.
Vegetation Structure c9 Overall structure of the vegetation.
Vegetation/Environmental Detail c80 A field to record miscellaneous observations and inferences about the vegetation or environment.
Agent(s) of Disturbance c16 Natural agents of vegetation disturbance.
Nutrient Availability c7 Availability of nutrients to the plants at a locality.
Seasonality c16 A field that indicates seasonality of water, temperature, and/or light.
Seasonality Intensity c3 Intensity of seasonality of factors in the Seasonality field.
Primary Productivity Level c4 The level of annual primary productivity.
Moisture c3 The level of moisture characteristic of the environment as a whole.
Water Availability c8 Level of water available to the plants of a plant locality.
Temperature c4 The temperature regime of the locality's environment.
Assemblage Component Size c5 The predominant size-category of the organisms found as fossils.
Part Concentration c14 The concentration of fossil specimens at the locality.
Assemblage Formation c12 The mode of formation of the fossil assemblage.
Weathering/Trampling c9 Existence of taphonomic evidence of weathering and trampling.
Abrasion c9 Degree of abrasion observed on fossil remains.
Transport c15 Degree and mode of transport affecting the fossil assemblage.
Invertebrate Preservation c12 The primary mode of preservation of invertebrate fossils.
Plant Preservation c12 The primary mode of preservation of plant fossils.
Vertebrate Preservation c12 The predominant state of the vertebrate skeletal remains found at the locality.
Time Represented c9 Time represented by the fossil deposit.
Approximate Number of Specimens integer The approximate number of collected specimens from the locality.
Exact Number of Specimens integer The exact total number of specimens collected from the locality.
Number of Quadrats integer The total number of quadrats (or other sampling units) upon which quadrat counts are based.
Unbiased Collecting? c1 Was the collection made essentially without conscious bias?
Species List for this Locality Complete? c1 Whether the species list entered is complete.
Taphonomy Comments c120 Comment field for describing taphonomy.
Status c15 The access status for this record.

 

Locality Update Table (LAU)
Locality Update ID number integer (Primary key)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign key)
Data Coordinator c25 The researcher who prepared the data for entry into the Database.
Data Authorizer c25 The Authorizer of the data.
Date date Date of the update.
Comment c255 A comment concerning the change(s) to the locality record.

 

Species Update Table (SAU)
Species Update ID number integer (Primary key)
Species ID number integer (Foreign key)
Data Coordinator c25 The researcher who prepared the data for entry into the Database.
Data Authorizer c25 The Authorizer of the data.
Date date Date of the update.
Comment c255 A comment concerning the change(s) to the species record.

 

Arthropod Species Table (ASP)
Species ID number integer (Primary key)
Class c30 The Linnean class to which the species belongs.
Order c30 The Linnean order to which the species belongs.
Family c30 The Linnean family to which the species belongs.
Genus c30 The generic name of the species.
Species c30 The species epithet of the species.
Unique c30 Makes the species entry unique.
Fossil Type c8 Body parts that constitute the fossil.
Fossil Parts c9 How the fossil is assembled/disassembled.
Life Stage c8 Major life stage of the fossil.
Diet Type c8 General food type category.
Feeding Group c8 Mode by which food is consumed.
Mouthpart Class c9 Categorizes mouthpart and adjacent structures.
Selectivity c7 Descriptor of the taxonomic specificity to which host tissue is consumed.
Hunt/Forage c8 Strategy by which food is obtained.
Food Form c8 Macroscopic food form type.
Feeding Habitat c8 General habitat where the species feeds.
Population Structure c8 Indicates solitary, social or gregarious species.
Activity c8 Descriptor of activity period for the species.
Locomotion c8 Mode of movement for the species.
Anti-Predator Devices c8 Anti-predator devices inferred for the species.
Vagility c8 Spatial mobility of an individual.
Physiognomy c8 Measure of shape and appendicularity.
Development c8 Type of ametamorphic/metamorphic development.
Body Length integer Average adult body length for the species.
Reproduction c8 Descriptor of reproduction by a gravid female.
Eggs c8 Mode of egg deposition for the species.
Status c15 The access status for this record.

 

Plant Species Table (PSP)
Species ID number integer (Primary key)
Division c30 The Linnean division to which the species belongs.
Class c30 The Linnean class to which the species belongs.
Order c30 The Linnean order to which the species belongs.
Family c30 The Linnean family to which the species belongs.
Genus c30 The generic name of the species.
Species c30 The species epithet of the species.
Unique c30 Makes the species entry unique.
Life Form c20 Inferred life form of the species.
Canopy Height float The inferred canopy height for the species.
Main Axis Diameter float Mean diameter of the main axis.
Leaf Dissection c15 Leaf dissection.
Leaf Margin c8 Leaf margin morphology.
Leaf Size c10 Class of leaf size for the species.
Evapotranspiration c18 Adaptation to regimes of evapotranspiration.

Seed Length

Seed Width
Seed Height

float

float

float

3 fields:

Mean seed size for the species, expressed in as many as three fields - length, width, and "height" as a third dimension.

Seed Size Class

integer

Size class of the seeds of the species.
Seeds/Diaspore integer The average number of seeds per diaspore.
Vulnerability float The vulnerability value for fossil wood.
Conductivity float The conductivity value for fossil wood.
Phenology c9 Inferred phenology.
Clonal Growth c1 The presence or not of clonal growth.
Lifespan c21 Inferred lifespan of the species.
Sporophyte Cost c7 A measure of the cost of sporophyte production.
Growth Rate c9 Inferred growth rate.
Predation c1 Existence of evidence of predation.
Anti-Predation Devices c4 Existence and nature of observed anti-predation devices.
Pollen Vector c6 Inferred pollen vector.
Pollen Size float Pollen size in micrometers.
Pollen Aggregation c20 Pollen aggregation.
Pollen Surface c20 Surface of a pollen grain.
Seed Dispersal c11 Seed dispersal mechanism.
Distribution c9 The characteristic distribution of the species in fossil deposits.
Status c15 The access status for this record.

 

Vertebrate Species Table (VSP)
Species ID number integer (Primary key)
Class c1 The Linnean class to which the species belongs.
Order c30 The Linnean order to which the species belongs.
Family c30 The Linnean family to which the species belongs.
Genus c30 The generic name of the species.
Species c30 The species epithet of the species.
Unique c30 Makes the species entry unique.
Diet 1 c1 Most general food-type category.
Diet 2 c9 General food-type category.
Diet 3 c10 Detailed food-type category.
Relative Fiber Content c1 Relative content of plant fiber.
Selectivity c1 The degree to which the animal is selective within its dietary class.
Food Processing Mode c1 Mode of mechanical processing of food.
Digestion c2 For herbivores, type of digestion.
Feeding Habitat 1 c2 General habitat where the species feeds.
Feeding Habitat 2 c8 Detailed terrestrial feeding habitat.
Hunt/Forage c8 Hunting mode for carnivores.
Shelter Habitat 1 c2 General habitat where the species shelters.
Shelter Habitat 2 c8 Detailed terrestrial shelter habitat.
Activity c1 Activity period inferred for the species.
Population Structure c3 Indicates whether there is evidence of sociality.
Locomotion 1 c2 The most general substrate of locomotion.
Locomotion 2 c15 Specific substrate of terrestrial locomotion, or type of flight.
Locomotion 3 c15 The predominant mode of locomotor activity.
Limb Posture c2 Limb posture.
Body Mass float Average adult body mass for the species.
Brain Mass float Average adult brain mass for the species.
Snout-Vent Length c7 Assignment to a broad body length category.
Tooth Height c3 A measure of tooth crown height (hypsodonty).
Tooth shape - unicuspid c3 A description of tooth crown morphology for single-cuspid teeth.
Tooth shape - multicuspid c3 A description of tooth crown morphology, for multicuspid teeth.
Molar Crown Type c6 Crown type in classification of Jernvall, et al. 1996.
Microwear c7 Description of microwear on tooth wear surfaces.
Occlusion c1 Whether upper and lower teeth occlude.
Symphyseal Mobility c1 Whether the symphysis is mobile.
Beak c1 A description of the edentulous beak, if present.
Sexual Dimorphism - Display c1 The existence of sexual dimorphism in display structures.
Sexual Dimorphism - Size c1 The existence of sexual dimorphism in overall size.
Status c15 The access status for this record.

 

Mollusc and Other Invertebrate Species Table (MSP)
Species ID number integer (Primary key)
Phylum c1 The Linnean phylum to which the species belongs.
Class c30 The Linnean class to which the species belongs.
Order c30 The Linnean order to which the species belongs.
Family c30 The Linnean family to which the species belongs.
Genus c30 The generic name of the species.
Species c30 The species epithet of the species.
Unique c30 Makes the species entry unique.
Status c15 The access status for this record.

 

Reference Table (REF)
Reference ID number integer (Primary key)
First Author c20 The last name of the first author of a reference.
First Initials c8 Initials of the first author of a reference.
Second Author c20 The last name of the second author of a reference.
Second Initials c8 Initials of the second author of a reference.
Other Authors c150 A list of authors beyond the second author, if any, for a reference.
Date of Publication c4 The year of publication of a reference (or, if a citation to nonpublished source, year in which such source originated).
Title c300 The title of a reference.
Citation c300 The source of a literature reference.

 

Sedimentary Structures & Taphonomy Table (SS)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Sedimentary Structures and Taphonomic Details c20 Name of sedimentary structure, bone modification, taphonomic characteristic, plant part present, other organic remains present, artifacts, etc.

 

Locality Synonym Table (SYN_LOC)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Synonym c30 Synonym for locality name.

 

Museum Table (MUS)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Museum c10 Acronym of museum where significant material from the locality is housed.

 

Collecting Methods Table (COLL_METH)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Collecting Methods c10 Method by which fossils were collected from the locality.

 

Plant Organs Table (PORG)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Plant Organ c16 The organ to which a fossil plant's Linnean name refers.

 

Count Abundance Table (NIS)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
NIS integer The number of identified specimens of a species at a locality.

 

"Minimum Number of Individuals" (MNI)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
MNI integer The "minimum number of individuals" (MNI) of a species at a locality.

 

Quadrat Count Table (QUAD)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Quad integer The number of quadrats (etc.) containing the species at a locality.

 

Percent Abundance Table (PCT)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
PCT float Percentage abundance of a species at a locality.

 

Qualitative Abundance Table (QUA)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Abundance c1 Qualitative abundance at a locality (abundant, common, rare, very_rare).

 

Correlation Tables (LS, LR, SR, PLR, PSR)

 

LS
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)

 

LR
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Reference ID number integer (Foreign Key)

 

SR
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Reference ID number integer (Foreign Key)

 

PLR
Project ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Locality ID number integer (Foreign Key)

 

PSR
Project ID number integer (Foreign Key)
Species ID number integer (Foreign Key)

 

Time Unit Table (TIME_UNIT)
Time Unit c30 (Primary Key) Name of geologic time unit.
Lower boundary integer (Foreign key) Boundary ID (TU_BOUND)
Upper boundary integer (Foreign key) Boundary ID (TU_BOUND)
Sequence c30 The chronostratic sequence to which the time unit belongs (e.g., "GSSP" [global stratotype section and point], "Magnetic Polarity Timescale", "North American Land Mammal Age", etc.).
Rank c10 The rank, if applicable, in the above chronostratic sequence.
Comment c120 Comment on the time unit.

 

Time Unit Boundary Table (TU_BOUND)
Boundary ID number integer (Primary Key) Unique ID assigned to boundary.
Age float Age assigned to the time unit boundary.
Name c30 Arbitrary name assigned to boundary.
Comment c120 Comment on boundary & age assignment.

 

Time Unit Boundary Reference (TUR)
Boundary ID number integer (Foreign Key) ID of Boundary (TU_BOUND)
Reference ID number integer (Foreign Key)

 

Museums List Table (MLIST)
Acronym c10 (Foreign Key) Museum field from MUS.
Institution c120 Full name of Museum or Collection.

 

Project List (PROJ)
Project ID Number integer (Primary Key)
Name c80 Name of the Project.

 

 

Figure 4. Detailed relationships of the data tables of the ETE Database. See Table 1 for the complete contents of each table and more information about primary and foreign keys. Major independent tables are shown with double outlines. Each of these tables has a single-valued primary key that is a unique ID number for each record (except in TIME_UNIT, which uses the name of a geologic time unit as its primary key). Arrows indicate the presence of the primary key of the originating table as a foreign key in the destination table. For example, the locality table (LOC) is connected to LAU, LS, and the locality attribute lists by having its primary key (lid, the unique locality identification number) appear in those tables as a foreign key. Likewise, the unique species identifier (sid) of the four species tables (ASP, MSP, PSP, VSP) appears in LS, as well as in SAU. One can, for example, list all the updates for a given locality (which is stored as a single row in LOC with a unique lid) by asking for all rows in LAU, the update table, that contain the lid of the locality of interest. Most of the minor tables (single outline) are simply lists of one kind of attribute, tied to a major table through a foreign key. Each row (foreign key and attribute columns taken together as a pair) constitutes the a unique entry and is the (composite, two-valued) primary key for these tables. The two values for each record in LS (lid, sid), taken together, form a unique combination that represents the occurrence of a particular species at a particular locality. This constitutes a composite (two-valued) primary key for the LS table, and appears as a composite foreign key in those tables recording abundance values of a species at a locality (NIS, MNI, QUAD, PCT, and QUA). The tables LS, LR, SR, PLR, and PSR are what is known as correlation tables, since their only entries are two primary keys of other tables (lid, sid, in the case of LS). This is necessary to create a many-to-many relationship between the elements of two tables.

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