Navigational Guide to the Exhibits banner
THIS PAGE explains the organization and navigation of our on-line exhibits. If you are visiting our site for the first time, or are looking for more general information than is presented here, try our Information for First-time Visitors page, which discusses the museum, lists on-line offerings of our site, and provides links to additional information.

Organization of the UCMP Virtual Exhibit Halls
Navigational Aids | Examples
Help and Additional Resources | Notes on Viewing the Pages
Authors, Images, Copyrights and Additional Information

Organization of the UCMP Virtual Exhibit Halls

The exhibits are the core of the UCMP web site, and they are very extensive. They are organized thematically into three major "wings:" Phylogeny, Geology, and Evolution. Each wing has its own distinct format.
Phylogeny, Geology and Evolution icons
  • The Phylogeny Wing examines the diversity and relationships between the major groups of living things on earth. The exhibit is built around our understanding of these relationships, so closely related organisms will be discussed "near" each other.
  • The Geology Wing explores the history of the earth, looking at the earth and its life at particular points in time. In this exhibit, organisms and events are discussed based on the time at which they occurred, regardless of relationships.
  • The Evolution Wing focuses on the people who have developed and contributed to our current understanding of phylogeny and geologic history.

Each wing has an Entrance Hall, allowing you to begin to explore from a fixed point. As you wander from hallway to hallway, you will be presented with options on which direction to go, in a format tailored for each Wing. Some major exhibits within each wing, such as the dinosaurs, have their own entrance halls as well, and you will also find some self-contained "special exhibits", such as our Dilophosaurus exhibit.
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Navigational Aids

Both Phylogeny and Geology are navigable by clicking on various buttons and images. These are the primary means for navigating those exhibits. To learn more about navigating either of these wings, use these links: Our Evolution wing is rather small by comparison to the others, and so currently has no special aids to navigate. All exhibits in this wing are linked directly from the entrance hall.

In all three wings, you may use text links to jump to related exhibits where appropriate, or you may use the Web Lift Bar which appears at the bottom of each page. The Web Lift Bar contains links to navigational aids that can help you quickly reach a point of interest in any of the three wings.
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Suppose you came looking for a particular group of organisms (dinosaurs), and want to get to them quickly. Clicking on "Any Taxon" on the Web Lift Bar will bring up the Web Lift to Taxa, which lists all the living things discussed on our server. You can then select the appropriate group list (Vertebrates), which will display a list of vertebrate groups in the lower left-hand window. Selecting "Archosauria (Dinosaurs, crocodiles, birds)" will display a sub-list in the lower right-hand window. More instructions appear on the Web Lift to Taxa page.

If your browser cannot display frames, you will instead be given the option to use the previous version of the Web Lift, where you may scroll through the list until you find what you want. If you have trouble finding the group you want in our list (it has grown rather long!), you can select the Express Web Lift from the top of the Web Lift Page instead of scrolling down.

Suppose that you are in the dinosaur exhibit, and become curious to know something about vegetation of that time. You would look to see when the dinosaurs lived (the Mesozoic Era), and then use the "Any Period" link to the Geologic Time Machine, which is a listing of exhibits for our Geology Wing organized chronologically from oldest events to most recent. Choosing the Mesozoic, you could find a description of plants which co-existed with the dinosaurs, or click on any of the plant groups to find out even more.
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Help and Additional Resources

The Web Lift Bar at the bottom of each page also offers links to a Help Page, a Topical Index, a Glossary, and the UCMP Home Page.
  • The Help Page, available from the Web Lift Bar within the exhibit hallways or by clicking on the "Help" button outside the exhibit halls, provides links to explanations and resources.
  • The Topical Index allows a scan of our exhibits by theme (marine biology, biographies, etc.).
  • The UCMP Glossary is a multi-volume set of definitions for some of the more technical words used in the text of the exhibits. Many of these definitions include links to relevant pages within the exhibits, and a few provide detailed information on separate pages.

Notes on Viewing the Pages

The UCMP Exhibit Halls were some of the earliest Web sites of their kind. You will occasionally find a page that looks "old" when compared to more recent pages. We are constantly editing and updating old pages, but we are also working on new exhibits. Please be patient with us as we try to race the Red Queen.
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Authors, Images, Copyrights and Additional Information

The "Authors" button at the bottom of each page credits people who have written or revised exhibit pages. The on-line exhibits have been put together by a team of people associated with UCMP, including many graduate student volunteers.

Many of the images on our server were taken by volunteers and donated without compensation. These range from pictures of UCMP holdings to skeletons on display in Russia. Many additional images of protists, plants, and fungi were provided by the Wisconsin botanical images database, thanks to Mike Clayton, and are credited where they appear. Many vascular plant images have been provided courtesy of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium. Other images have been lent to us by individuals or organizations; this is usually noted on the page near the image, at the bottom of the page, or in the page's authors/credits statement.

The copyright button usually links to our general copyright statement, although some pages provide information about sources of images and information.

At the bottom of most exhibit pages there are links to on-line sources of further relevant information. On some pages we have also listed published sources that were used as references.

Authors button Copyright symbol Help button