Dinosaurs Encyclopedia & Data Dig in Detail

 

DataDig record screen

Settings for the above
The list in the left-hand column are some of the controls available in Dinosaur DataDig. The uppercase and bolded text on the right show the settings that were active when the screen capture was taken.
 
RECORD: CARNOTAURUS
DATA MODE: BROWSE | Compare | Search
DATA VIEW: Picture | Key Data | ALL DATA
ORGANIZERS: Off | ON
PAGE: 1 | 2
PICTURE: Skeletal reconstruction | LIFE RESTORATION
SORT: Field: NAME
Field type: ALPHABETIC | Numeric | Chronological
Order: ASCENDING | Descending
INTERFACE THEME: Dinosaur Cove | Flaming Cliffs | HELL CREEK | Mount Kirkpatrick | Sahara | Solnhofen | Terrible Claw | Valley of the Moon
SPELLING: British English | US ENGLISH
MEASUREMENT: Metric | IMPERIAL
GLOSSARY: Available: Simple terms | Complex terms | ALL TERMS
Displayed: Not underlined | UNDERLINED
NOTE: Feeding, offense and defense field is EXPANDED

 

 

A modern, state-of-the-art interface

 

Visual themes Tabbed pages
Visual themes or skins Tabbed pages


 

Slider panels Text rollovers
Slider panels
Text rollovers


 

Semi-transparent dialogs Click-grab controllers
Semi-transparent dialogs Click-grab controllers

 

 

Rigorous, quality data

Data quality is ensured through the use of a large number of highly-regarded references and then rigorous validation by Scott Hartman, paleontologist and recent Director of Science at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center and Tracy Lee Ford, a respected independent dinosaur researcher.

Sue the T.rexThree criteria are used when selecting the dinosaurs featured in DataDig. Firstly there are representatives from all major dinosaur groups. Secondly, records provide a balance between long-established favorites, significant but obscure genus and more recent spectacular finds. The final consideration of geographic diversity ensures they come from all continents and include representatives from the long-established fossil localities of North America, Europe, Africa and Mongolia as well as from digs of more recent times including those of South America, China and Antarctica.

Within the record, balance has be sought between the searchable/sortable fields and those fields that are longer and more descriptive. The fields are further balanced between factual data and those offering more inference and conjecture. In addition to the scientific fields are those with reference to popular culture that lend support to explorations of the role dinosaurs play in wider culture and vice versa.

 

DataDig‘s records

Abelisaurus
Acrocanthosaurus
Albertaceratops
Albertosaurus
Alioramus
Allosaurus
Alxasaurus
Amargasaurus
Anchiceratops
Ankylosaurus
Apatosaurus
Archaeopteryx
Argentinosaurus
Aucasaurus
Avimimus
Bactrosaurus
Bambiraptor
Baryonyx
Beipiaosaurus
Brachiosaurus
Camarasaurus
Camptosaurus
Carcharodontosaurus
Carnotaurus
Centrosaurus
Ceratosaurus
Chasmosaurus
Chirostenotes
Coelophysis
Compsognathus
Corythosaurus
Cryolophosaurus
Daspletosaurus
Deinonychus
Deltadromeus
Dilong
Dilophosaurus
Diplodocus
Dromaeosaurus
Dromiceiomimus
Dryosaurus
Edmontonia
Edmontosaurus
Einiosaurus
Eoraptor
Eotyrannus
Euoplocephalus
Gallimimus
Gargoyleosaurus
Giganotosaurus
Herrerasaurus
Heterodontosaurus
Huayangosaurus
Hypsilophodon
Iguanodon
Indosuchus
Kentrosaurus
Lambeosaurus
Leaellynasaura
Lesothosaurus
Liliensternus
Maiasaura
Mamenchisaurus
Megalosaurus
Minmi
Monolophosaurus
Mononykus
Muttaburrasaurus
Nanotyrannus
Nigersaurus
Ornitholestes
Ornithomimus
Othnielosaurus
Ouranosaurus
Oviraptor
Pachycephalosaurus
Pachyrhinosaurus
Parasaurolophus
Pentaceratops
Plateosaurus
Proceratosaurus
Protoceratops
Psittacosaurus
Rhoetosaurus
Saichania
Saurophaganax
Saurornithoides
Seismosaurus
Shunosaurus
Sinornithoides
Sinornithosaurus
Sinosauropteryx
Sinraptor
Spinosaurus
Staurikosaurus
Stegosaurus
Struthiomimus
Stygimoloch
Styracosaurus
Suchomimus
Supersaurus
Tarbosaurus
Tarchia
Tenontosaurus
Therizinosaurus
Torosaurus
Torvosaurus
Triceratops
Troodon
Tsintaosaurus
Tuojiangosaurus
Tyrannosaurus
Utahraptor
Velociraptor
Yangchuanosaurus


Resources used in compiling the Dinosaurs Encyclopedia data

 
Record content

The core of Dinosaur DataDig is an expandable library of 115 dinosaur records (all remaining genera are described more briefly). Each record comprises 38 detailed fields.

Fields are grouped into 6 organizers like “Classification” or “Lifestyle and biology”. In all DataDig is approximately 350,000 words and more than 1500 illustrations. And this is but “the core”; New records, glossary entries and features will dramatically expand these tallies.

DataDig name

Name

The eight fields in this section include Pronunciation, Meaning and Etymology, its Type species and Other species, its Other names (or synonyms) and information about its original Describer.

   
DataDig physical

Physical

The features field contains a very comprehensive common language description of the dinosaur’s physical characteristics and is divided into the five subsections of “Head and neck”, “Body”, “Limbs”, “Tail” and possibly “Integument” (the outer covering of an animal). Three fields in this section are related to size (Maximum length, Maximum height and Maximum weight) while another three relate to whether it was a biped or quadruped and its estimated Walking speed and Maximum speed. The final two fields suggest its Encephalization Quotient (also known as brain-to-body mass ratio and a rough estimate of the possible intelligence of an organism) and whether it may have had a lower, intermediate or higher Resting Metabolic Rate.

   
DataDig classification

Systematics

This suite of fields presents information about dinosaur systematics and phylogenetic relationships. Four fields deal with ranks of Linnaean classification: Order, Suborder, Infraorder and Family. Linnaean taxonomy is a method of classifying living things originally devised by, and named for, Carl Linnaeus. In the Linnaean system all species are classified in a ranked hierarchy. This system is now considered inadequate for classifying dinosaurs but is present here because it is still used in some educational settings. The Taxon field describes the animal’s evolutionary relationships. These relationships are presented as a series of words or ranks separated by vertical bars. These ranks become increasing more precise in its description of the animal’s phylogenetic relationship when read from left to right until, ultimately, the ranking ends in the genus name. Family ties includes information about closely related genus and notes on the animal’s evolutionary relationships.

   
DataDig biology

Lifestyle and biology

T.rex headThis section groups fields that contain information about a dinosaur’s habitat and ways of life. Habitat reports on the types of environment in which the dinosaur is thought to have lived. Separators divide the different views found in the literature. The Diet field offers the types of food the dinosaur is thought to have eaten where once again separators divide the different views found in the literature. Usually the field containing the most information, Feeding, offense and defense, provides information on feeding and defensive adaptations and possible strategies. Conjecture in this field is common but always denoted as such. Growth and development includes information on possible life history including reproductive method, sexuality, courtship and mating, nesting and development while Social speaks of its possible gregariousness, social structure and social behavior.

   
DataDig when and where

When and where

Clustered here are seven fields concerned with the when and where of dinosaur genera both in the Mesozoic and the present. The Period field contains the name of the epoch and stages in which the dinosaur’s fossils have been found. First appears provides in millions of years when the genus is reported to have appeared in the fossil record while Last appears provides when the genus is reported to have disappeared from the fossil record. Skeletons list the continents, countries, states, districts/counties and localities where fossils of this genus have been found. Eggs, hatchlings and juveniles lists the localities where these fossils for this genus have been found. Notes regarding these fossils can be read in the field titled Fossil info. Finally, museums where examples of the genus can be seen is listed in the Displayed field. The institution’s name links, when available, to its website.

   
DataDig extras

Extras

Hall of Fame is an exhaustive potpourri of “records” and distinctive facts: the biggest, the smallest; the oldest, the youngest; the first, the last, as well as what’s special and distinctive about each dinosaur. Media appearances contains links to detailed commentaries of over 80 dinosaur-themed feature films from the silent shorts to the latest blockbusters. Guess what? is pretty much that: Unusual and miscellaneous facts about each dinosaur with particular attention to where else it figures in the broader culture.

Data of a typical record

 

Data views
Tyrannosaurus skull
It may strike those who use DataDig that its content has not been “dumbed down”. We have not attempted to overly control the difficulty level of the content but rather provide means whereby this level can be managed. Therefore as a user gains confidence and understanding new levels of information can be accessed.

There are several ways in which a user can control the difficulty level including several different modes or lenses through which to view DataDig‘s information: Picture captions enables users to explore life restorations with popup text; Key Data where a user can see pivotal data on a single page and the All Data view which is presented on two pages.

Picture view

 
Large life restorations
with hover text and zoom.
 

Key data view

All data view

   
20 fields of key data
on a single page.
Complete data of 37 fields
on two pages.

 

Life restorations

With Dinosaur DataDig you have access to hundreds of high resolution, high quality images produced by some of the world’s leading paleoartists.

Amargasaurus cazaui

Ceratosaurus nasicornis
Alxasaurus elesitaiensis
Aucasaurus garridoi
 
 
Albertaceratops nesmoi
Minmi paraverteba
Albertaceratops nesmoi
Minmi paravertebra
 
 
Nigersaurus taqueti
Suchomimus tenerensis
Nigersaurus taqueti
Suchomimus tenerensis
 
 
Tarchia gigantea Carcharodontosaurus saharicus
Tarchia gigantea
Carcharodontosaurus saharicus


Exploring life restorations

Picture captions

Zooms

   
Picture captioning
Spectacular zooms

DataDig‘s life restorations are not merely static illustrations; they are also a means of interfacing with much of DataDig‘s text data. As the mouse hovers over the head, front and rear legs, body and tail captions appear describing these features within the broader context of the animal’s biology and life.

When viewing dinosaur restorations, specially prepared magnifications of each dinosaur’s key body features are available. Most restorations have 4 or 5 magnifications and these are displayed when a magnifying glass appears as the cursor moves over the image.

 

Skeletal reconstructions

Skeletal reconstructions Skeletal reconstructions

Skeletons tells us much of what we know, or think we know, about dinosaurs. They provide vital clues to their evolutionary relationships, how they moved, how fast they grew, what they may have eaten, what illnesses and injuries afflicted them, how they may have defended themselves and much more. Significantly of course skeletal reconstructions made from these remains form the basis of scientific restorations by paleoartists of their life appearance.

 

Skeletal reconstructions
Click for larger image

 

Dinosaur DataDig is a major source of dinosaur skeletal drawings created by some of the world’s best paleoartists (who are also scientists) including Gregory S. Paul and Scott Hartman of the Wyoming Dinosaur Centre, Thermopolis, Wyoming.

 

Examples




Camarasaurus skeleton
Sinornithosaurus skeleton
Camarasaurus supremus
AMNH 5761 composite by Greg Paul
Sinornithosaurus sp.
NGMC 91 (“Dave”) by Scott Hartman
   
Nanotyrannus skeleton
Pachyrhinosaurus skeleton
Nanotyrannus lancesis
by Lex Kalka

Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis
by Tracy Lee Ford

   
Muttaburrasaurus skeleton
Cryolophosaurus skeleton
Muttaburrasaurus langdoni
by John Long
Cryolophosaurus ellioti
by Ville Sinkkonen (skull) and Øyvind M. Padron

 

Other art

Dinosaur DataDig contains the work of the following talented artists:

Tracy Lee Ford
Julius Csotonyi
Matt Celesky
John Long
Jaime Headden
Øyvind M. Padron
Jim Robins

Ville Sinkkonen
Lex Kalka
Ezequiel Vera
Sergio Pérez
Nobumichi Tamura
Luc Bailly
Brian Roesch
João Boto
Michael Carroll
Benjamin De Bivort
Eduta Felcyn
Robert Gay
T. Michael Keesey
Ville Sinkkonen
Tuomas Koivurinne
Jordan Mallon
Todd Marshall
Matt Maryniuk
Thomas M. Miller
Øyvind M. Padron
Joe Tucciarone

 

The Glossary

No need to “google” or reach for a dictionary to explain or unpack DataDig‘s information. The records of DataDig are supported more than 1500 illustrated and cross-indexed definitions.

Through Options you can select to have only Simple terms, Complex terms or all terms displayed. Additionally you can reduce the amount of visual information displayed by switching off underlining while retaining hypertexting.


Dinosaur DataDig Glossary
Click for larger image

 

Glossary examples

General glossary entries
Biographical glossary entries
General
Biographical
   
Classification glossary entries
Related species glossary entries
Classification
Related species
   
Map glossary entries
Other technical glossary entires
Maps
Other technical

 

DataDig Live

In addition to the searchable database information Dinosaur DataDig also includes DataDig Live, a suite of features allowing users to add their own content and links to dedicated Internet materials and web tools:

MyNotes

MyPics

   
DataDig MyNotes
DataDig MyPics

Add your own notes to each dinosaur record.

Display a slideshow of your own pictures related to each dinosaur record. Simply drag and drop the image into the appropriate folder.

   

Genus links

Dinosauria reference

   
DataDig Genus links
DataDig Dinosauria reference

Opens a website of web links for each record in five categories:

Reference
Art and images
Models and sculpture
Fun and games
Other.

Opens the World’s most compre-hensive collection of dinosaur web links in seven categories:

General information
Museums
Organizations and societies
Figure and image
Databases and maps
News, blogs and boards
Online instruction.
   

MyToolbox

Genus Search

   
DataDig MyToolbox
DataDig Genus Search

Opens a page that links to dozens of free research and project tools.

Opens the result of a Google Web Search for the dinosaur of the current record.



Video Search

Scholar and Book Search

   
DataDig Video Search
DataDig Scholar search

Opens the result of a Google Video Search (including YouTube) for the dinosaur of the current record.

Opens a list of scientific publications in which the dinosaur of the current record features while Book Search displays a list of books featuring the dinosaur of the current record. The contents of some of the publications can be viewed.



News Search

Blog Search

   
DataDig News Search
DataDig Blog Search

Searches the Google News archive for articles featuring the dinosaur of the current record.

Opens the result of a Google Blog Search for the dinosaur whose record you are currently viewing.

 

Sort and Compare

Using Sort, records can be placed in a variety of orders depending on the field type; alphabetic, numeric and chronological. This facilitates the exploration of concepts related to size, relationship, time and their interplay.

With Compare any number of records can be selected out for one-after-another comparison.

Sort records panel
Click for larger image

 

Searching

Dinosaur DataDig is not a static encyclopedia-like program in which you merely read, click and watch. DataDig enables you to analyze and manipulate the content thereby actively constructing your own knowledge via a range of carefully designed tools for investigating, searching, sorting, and comparing data. Powerful searches can be created in seconds.

As an example you can query for very precise locations and times and gather all the data related to feeding so that a detailed hypothetical food-web can be constructed. The results of a search can be printed, browsed, exported and saved for future use.


DataDig's Search screen
Click for larger image

 

Skins and Soundscapes

 

DataDig's visual themes

From top left:

 

Dinosaur Cove, Victoria, Australia
Valley of the Moon, Argentina
Terrible Claw
Solnhofen, Germany

Baharija, Egypt
Flaming Cliffs, Mongolia
Hell Creek, Montana, USA
Mt Kirkpatrick, Antarctica

 

DataDig's Soundscapes

Soundscapes

Seven optional soundscapes greatly enhance the experience of using Dinosaur DataDig and are used under license from Soundscapes of the Dinosaurs by Douglas Irvine of William Sound.

 

Other customizing

Three data modes

Expandable fields

   
DataDig's three data modes
DataDig's expandable fields

Select the mode right for you: the lowest density of Picture mode with hover text, Key data limited to 20 key fields or the maximum of All data in 37 fields.

To reduce the density of information displayed only the first line of a field is visible. Expanding a field reveals its complete, and often very substantial, content.

   

Glossary options

Options

   
DataDig's Glossary options DataDig's Program options

1500 glossary entries are hyperlinked within the data and appeared underlined. This high density can be reduced by selecting the range of terms available. Underlining can also be switched off and yet the words remain linked to the Glossary.

Customize the spelling and measurement standard and how the Glossary is displayed.


Updating

Data updates

Despite a growing awareness of the dynamic nature of dinosaur paleontology, many in the general public are still unaware of just how fast this science moves. Fresh species and spectacular finds appear weekly and there is a constant stream of new information causing us to continually reshape our view of existing species. It is a cliche that books on dinosaurs contain increasingly inaccurate data and outmoded views from the time they hit the shelves. As a consequence updates to DataDig are frequent.

 

Content upgrades

DataDig is in constant development or “perpetual beta” and over time DataDig expands in different ways. In terms of content chief among these are:

New dinosaur
A minimum of 10 new dinosaurs a year.

High-quality picture packs
Get additional skeletal images, alternative life restorations, and lots more.

Photo collections expansion packs
Get high-resolution photos of fossil remains from the world’s museums.

Vintage images expansion pack
Traces the evolution in our thinking and understanding of dinosaurs.

New visual themes
Enjoy a whole new experience when new themes are added: rock and mineral colors, decorative (historic/paleontological), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Skins (of dinosaurs) and Art movements.

New soundscapes
New audio environments linked thematically to the visual themes.

 

Software extensions

New features, under the title of DataDig Live employ Web 2.0 technologies and other innovations including RSS feeds, wiki, a scrapbook/notebook and a dedicated webpage for each entry.


 

Dinosaur DataDig

 

Interactive Dinosaurs Encyclopedia & Data Dig v2.0 RRP: $69.90
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