Welcome to the home of Date-A Clade and the Fossil Record Date-a-Clade      Fossil Record  
The history of life is recorded by fossils. The fossil record is the sum total of current palaeontological knowledge, and we offer different kinds of documentation for different purposes.

Dating the tree of life
Find the best palaeontological date for major nodes on the tree of life. Key genomic organisms are plotted on a simplified cladogram, and we offer detailed justifications for hard minimum constraints and soft maximum constraints. The dates were compiled in mid-2006, and represent the best estimate at present. If fellow palaeontologists find an error, or can suggest improvements to the evidence on any date, please contact us at Mike.Benton@bristol.ac.uk.

To cite a date please refer to Benton, M.J. and Donoghue, P.C.J. 2006. Paleontological Evidence to Date the Tree of Life. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24(1):26-53. The paper is available at the Molecular Biology and Evolution website.

The Fossil Record 2 (1993)
We offer the basic documentation from The Fossil Record 2, published in 1993. Data lists may be downloaded, and data may be manipulated and searched (this is temporarily unavailable).

To cite this data set, quote Benton, M. J. 1993. The Fossil Record 2. Chapman & Hall, London, 845 pp.

And next...
The Palaeobiology and Biodiversity Research group at the University of Bristol plans to offer an updated version of the Fossil Record in due course. Documentation will be established first to family level, as in the 1993 volume, and then to generic level.

This data base will be created from 2007 onwards. Watch this space!