Taxonomy and Classification of Cenozoic Mollusca
Data Archive 13

This is a Paleobiology Database Data Archive including classification and alpha taxonomy for fossil molluscs known from the Cenozoic. The systematic archive largely focuses on occurrences in the Paleobiology Database from the Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Chile, and Antarctica), the northern Pacific Rim (Japan, Russia, and western North America), the circum-Caribbean (including the Atlantic coastal plain, Dominican Republic, Panama, and northern South America), and the Paris Basin of Western Europe. The classification and synonymy data are as current as possible at the time of compilation. Additionally, every attempt is made to apply taxonomic definitions that are compatible between biogeographic provinces.

The dataset, when complete, will be based around several regional inventories of Cenozoic Mollusca, supplemented by the alpha taxonomic data presented in references that pertain to occurrences in the PBDB. These inventories represent New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Russia, Panama, and the Paris Basin. Checklists of Recent Mollusca provide the higher taxonomic framework that permits nomenclatural consistency between regional datasets. Assembly and standardization of this dataset is an ongoing process during which data will be publicly available for use.

Scientific goals

Determining temporal and spatial variations in taxonomic composition requires consistent nomenclatural definitions. Hence, a primary goal behind compiling this data is to ensure consistency when comparing faunal assemblages derived from literature of vastly different historical age and geographic provenance. This dataset has also been used in support of several investigations on the effect of taxonomic standardization on temporal biodiversity.


The data set was initiated in 2002 to provide a systematic framework for analysis of biodiversity trends and biogeographic patterns of Cenozoic Mollusca in support of the author's doctoral research and associated projects.

  • P. J. Wagner, M. Aberhan, A. Hendy, and W. Kiessling. 2007. The effects of taxonomic standardization on sampling-standardized estimates of historical diversity. Proceedings of the Royals Society of London B. Biological Sciences 274:439-444.
Contact information

Austin Hendy
Department of Geology and Geophysics
Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520-8109

Download Hendy's data