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List F - Fossils

List F  Fossils - hierarchical list

General notes
These thesaurus lists, lists A-R, are used by GeoRef indexers for selecting index terms and by searchers for additional information not necessarily found in individual term records in the body of the Thesaurus. In most cases, an hierarchical list is given. In some cases, an alphabetical or other list is provided.

The notes under Searching attempt to guide the searcher in the use of the list. Searchers might also read the notes on Indexing for further clues but should be aware that these notes reflect current practice which in some cases differs from past practice. Further notes on specific terms are in the body of the Thesaurus and additional notes on searching are in the GeoRef Thesaurus, 11th edition Introduction section on searching beginning on page x. Information specific to searching and the individual list topics is included, e.g., a section including fossils begins on page xi.

Under Indexing the current indexing practice is given. These notes should be read along with the instructions under the individual terms in the body of the Thesaurus.

The terminology in this list was developed in consultation with micropaleontologists at the American Museum of Natural History, for whom GeoRef produced the monthly Bibliography and Index of Micropaleontology, and with the vertebrate paleontologists at the Museum of Paleontology of the University of California - Berkeley, with whom we produced the annual Bibliography of Fossil Vertebrates from 1973-1980.

In 2018, the taxonomic hierarchies used in the Thesaurus were updated to bring them into accord with current cladistically-based taxonomy. As a result, some major taxonomic terms (most notably Invertebrata, Protista, Pisces, and Vermes) which do not describe monophyletic clades were removed. Roughly-equivalent informal terms have been instituted for use with general discussions: invertebrates (for non-chordate metazoans), protists (for single-celled eukaryotes), fish (for non-tetrapod chordates), and worms (for taxa previously classed as Vermes).

In a few instances, cladistic taxonomy has resulted in higher-order taxa acquiring significant new members (for example, the inclusion of Aves in the dinosaurs). In these cases certain taxonomic levels, although valid Thesaurus terms, have been deliberately omitted from taxonomic hierarchies of the newly acquired member taxa to allow users to search for the higher-order taxa as traditionally defined.

The specific omissions are:
Sarcopterygii and Osteichthyes omitted as BT (broader terms) for Tetrapoda
Cynodontia, Therapsida, and Synapsida omitted as BT for Mammalia
Coelurosauria, Theropoda, Saurischia, dinosaurs, Archosauria, Diapsida, and Reptilia omitted as BT for Aves

For paleontology papers on a fossil group, search the systematic name. To exclude stratigraphy papers, add NOT stratigraphy to the search strategy. Broader terms in the list are autoposted to their narrower terms, with the exception of  Tetrapoda, Mammalia, and Aves as explained in Fossils. More specific fossil group names appear in the main body of the Thesaurus.Their broader terms, which appear in the list, are autoposted to them.
For stratigraphic papers on a fossil group search the systematic name AND biostratigraphy. For paleoecology, biogeography, ecology and biochemistry papers, it is best to search systematic names in combination with the appropriate topic term.
For searches on specific taxa, the species and/or genus name may be used in searching. Keep in mind that general studies discussing more than 10 taxa will rarely be indexed using the specific terms. A more general search strategy is advisable for such searches.

Index the most specific fossil term possible. Index higher level systematic terms step-by-step up the hierarchy until a term that autoposts is used.
The numbers 8-11 correspond to the paleontology category codes (section headings) in List A:
08 General paleontology
09 Paleobotany
10 Invertebrate paleontology
11 Vertebrate paleontology

Use miscellanea for papers in which the author is uncertain of the group's taxonomic affinities (i.e. incertae sedis).
Use faunal studies or floral studies if several groups are discussed, or you are not sure of the group's relationships to other groups. When indexing newly named fossils include the supplementary term new taxa and list all new taxa at the species level up to ten.

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