Useful links for avian paleontologists

The links are divided into a number of categories:

» Tyrberg’s Avian Paleontological Literature Online
» Bibliographies
» Abstract databases
» Collection resources
» Taxonomy resources
» Discussion groups/listservers
» Sites devoted to particular taxa
» Sites concerning particular palaeontologists
» Online books and publications
» Organisations and societies
» Paleogeography
» Maps
» Various
» Journals

If you have any additions, errors, dead links etc. to report, please mail Tommy Tyrberg

Tyrberg’s Avian Paleontological Literature Online

Literature A–M

Literature N–Z and Abstracts


BFV (the Bibliography of Fossil Vertebrates). The years 1509-1958 and 1981-93 are available online. Good search facilities. Remember though that the BFV has always had a rather spotty coverage of birds.

ROL (Recent Ornithological Literature) was originally issued as supplements to Ibis, Auk and Emu, but is now only published online. Volumes from 74 (1997) are available.

Georef is the most comprehensive Earth-Sciences database, but is only available by subscription. Recent references that have not yet been indexed into the main database may however be searched online. Useful when searching for recent references.

GEOLIS is a bibliographic database on earth sciences compiled by the Geological Survey of Japan. It covers literature about Japan or adjacent sea area, literature written by Japanese authors and literature published in Japan.

A very comprehensive Bibliography of the Procellariiformes up to 1995 by John Warham. Very good coverage of fossil forms as well. Recommended. Meant to be downloaded.

A large Bibliography on Vertebrate Flight by J. M. V. Rayner.

A Phylogenetic Literature Database from the Willi Hennig Society netsite

Dinosaur bibliography which also covers non-neornithine birds. The older references are largely based on BFV but useful for post-1993 references. Can only be queried by author. Part of a quite large dinosaur site.

An online version of Bibliografía de las Aves de México 1825-1992. Also covers palaeontology.

A Bibliography of Bioarchaeology by A. H. Harris.

Abstract databases

Medline is primarily a biomedical database. It is the only one of the major databases that is freely available, and since it has a reasonably good coverage of biological subjects it is worth consulting. Nature and Science are indexed for example.

Ingenta is probably the document-supply site with the best coverage. A (free) registration is required to access abstracts of the papers in the database.

Collection resources

The Page Museum (La Brea Tar Pits) Bird Faunal List is online.

Many vertebrate paleontology specimens held at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County can be searched online.

The Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) Vertebrate Palaeontology collections can be searched online. The collections include Pierce Brodkorbs’ personal Collection, the University of Florida Collection and the Florida Geological Survey Collection (few birds). The search facilities are a bit messy to use though.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) vertebrate fossil collection can now be searched online.

The Peabody Museum (YPM) Vertebrate Palaeontology Collection is mostly of interest because it includes many of Marsh’s specimens.

The University of Wyoming’s Collection of Fossil Vertebrates is now also searchable online.

Catalogue of Paleontological types in Austrian collections

UCMP Berkeley Catalogue of Vertebrate types and published specimens

Bird Skeletal Collections On-line is a listing of modern comparative collections of bird skeletons.

Taxonomy resources

The Dinosauricon is one of the best Dinosaur resources on the net and includes among other things a listing of all dinosaur genera (including non-neornithean birds)

Dinodata is another excellent Dinosaur site. The taxonomy section is inferior to Dinosauricon, but the site has many other excellent features e. g. sections on fossil sites, formations, palaeogeography etc.

Zoonomen is probably the best of a number of sites on the net on the systematics of extant birds. Follows the Sibley & Ahlquist system.

The Tree of Life is a very ambitious phylogeny site covering all living organisms

Utdödalistan [Extinct birds] is a list maintained by the Swedish Taxonomic Committee. It includes all fossil Holocene extinct birds with all relevant references.

Discussion groups/listservers

The Dinosaur mailing list is a very lively discussion group that also frequently touches upon mesozoic birds and avian origins. The searchable Archives (going back to 1994) is an excellent place to start looking for obscure pieces of information on things Mesozoic in general. Devotees of the “birds are not dinosaurs” viewpoint should probably keep away from this site for their peace of mind.

Sites devoted to particular taxa

Comprehensive access to taxonomic PDFs for the Order Strigiformes (extant and fossil) has been made available by Tommy Tyrberg.

Ilja Nieuwlands Archaeopteryx Pages includes interesting information on Gerhard Heilmann and a number of classic publications on Archaeopteryx

An extensive collection of links connected with Archaeopteryx

Terrorvogel is a German site devoted to the Phorusrhacidae.

Vorompatra is (of course) about Aepyornithids.

Sites devoted to particular palaeontologists

An interesting Argentine site on Florentino Ameghino, unfortunately with only a few of his papers on fossil birds.

An excellent site about T. H. Huxley, including a large selection of his publications.

Biography and Bibliography of Alexander Wetmore.

Online books and publications

Ornithological Books Online

Gallica 2000 is the Bibliothèque National de France’s site for online publications. This is a very large site (15,000+ books) which among other things has put online a large number of early natural-history books. The main attraction for avian palaeontologists is Milne-Edward’s “Recherches anatomiques et paléontologiques pour servir à l’histoire des oiseaux fossiles de la France” (that is Vol. 1, Vol. 2 is here, and the plates here), but other interesting authors include e. g. Linnaeus, Audubon, Buffon, Bonaparte and Temminck. Most of the books are stored as bitmap page images so large books take a long time to download.

The Online Books Page is the best index of online books on the net. Books on biological subjects (not very many unfortunately) are here and geology here.

Athena is a Swiss index of online texts which includes a large section of classical science texts.

Scientific publications of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, including a fair amount of Palaeontology

Henry Fairfield Osborn (1910): The age of mammals in Europe, Asia and North America. Not very much on birds, but still a useful reference.

The Polyglot Palaeontologist is a sort of bulletin board for posting translations of palaeontological papers. Contains among other things Hou Lian Hai´s book Mesozoic Birds of China (1997).

Gusseklo, S. W. S. 2000. The evolution of the palaeognathous birds. PhD Dissertation, University of Leiden.

Hamon, J. H. 1964. Osteology and paleontology of the passerine birds of the Reddick, Florida, Pleistocene. Florida Geological Survey, Bulletin 44:1-210.

O. C. Marsh’s Odontornithes (1880) A real classic.

Mlikovsky, Jiri 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World, Part I Europe 407 pp.

Palm, Sven 1997. The Origin of flapping Flight in Birds. A Theory on the Origin of Birds and the Power of flapping Flight.

Organisations and societies

International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ)

Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology (SVP)

Geological Society of America (GSA)

ICAZ Bird Working Group


The Paleogeographic Atlas Project has a lot of very good maps, though many are from time periods long before Archaeopteryx

The PALEOMAP Project is notable for paleoclimate maps

Ron Blakey’s site has beautiful paleogeographic maps of a number of areas, particularily the American Southwest.

IGCP Project 369 with a fascinating series of maps of the peri-Tethys area.

The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science site has, among other things, a nice series of paleogeographic maps of New Zealand.

Global land environments since the last interglacial


There is any number of map collections on the net but the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection is definitely one of the best.

Likewise there are many sites where you can create a map yourself, this is one of the better ones. Here is another.

The Tiger Mapping Service of the US Census Bureau is a very good digital database of the Continental US which can be used to generate publication-quality maps.

At Terraserver You can view any place in the Continental US on a large-scale topographic map, air photograph and/or satellite photograph. Can be searched by place-name or geographic coordinates.

The Graphical Locater Home Page has a wealth of mapping and location data for the US, including conversion between Township-and-range and geographical coordinates. Particularly useful in combination with Terraserver.

Cornell’s Interactive Mapping and Data Analysis site is notable for the wide array of earth-science overlay data that may be included in the generated maps.


A survey of Pleistocene fossil sites in Southwestern USA by A. H. Harris.

The FAUNMAP project is a database of sites with Pleistocene Mammals in North America. The entire database can be downloaded.

TalkOrigins is a site primarily devoted to the Creation/Evolution controversy, but as such it contains excellent essays on such subjects as Archaeopteryx and transitional fossils in general.

Toby White’s Vertebrate Notes is an excellent compendium on the vertebrates and includes many useful links.

A site that hardly qualifies even as a subfossil, but still worth a visit, Anglo-Saxon birdlore.

Zooarchaeology Homepage Birds.

The Pleistocene Birds of the Palearctic site contains updates to the 1998 book with the same title.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) site is a good starting point when looking for almost anything dealing with the Earth or Life Sciences.

A nice site about the Manix Lake fossil beds.


This list includes all journals that have published five or more papers on palaeornithology during the past decade. The Journals are divided into six categories depending on the degree of access available online:

1. Full text access

2. Abstracts plus full text of selected papers

3. Abstracts

4. Tables of Contents

5. Journal information only

6. The following Journals do not seem to be available online in any form at the present time (12/20/01)

  • Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemicae
  • Aquila
  • Anthropozoologica
  • Archaeopteryx
  • Bolleti de la Societat d’Historia Natural de les Balears
  • Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club
  • Cranium
  • Endins
  • L’Anthropologie
  • Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen
  • New Zealand Natural Sciences
  • Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington
  • Records of the South Australian Museum
  • Russkii Ornitologicheskii Zhurnal
  • Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
  • Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta