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CONTENTS
What is UCMP? | Where is the "real" museum?
What does the UCMP website have to offer?
What do I need to explore this site?
How do I navigate the site?
Where can I find more information about this site and UCMP?

What is UCMP?

WELCOME to the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)! UCMP is primarily a research institution, but we do offer a variety of public education and outreach programs, and with the advent of the World Wide Web we have found tremendous opportunities for sharing on-line the museum's collections and research data.

Where is the "real" museum?

One question we often get is, "Where is the real museum?" By this, people usually mean "Where are the physical exhibits displayed?"

UCMP has very few physical exhibits for the public due to space and cost limitations. By definition, museums are devoted to the collection and preservation of objects which might otherwise be lost to future generations. Public exhibits are very important for most museums, but they are rarely the primary purpose. As the state repository for California fossils, UCMP's research collection is extensive and is of tremendous importance for researchers.

We do have a very nice mount of a Tyrannosaurus cast and a Pteranodon, and will be expanding our physical exhibits in the future. In the meantime, recognizing the importance of providing information to the public, UCMP has spent considerable effort developing on-line exhibits.

We are located in Berkeley, California, in the Valley Life Sciences Building on the UC Berkeley campus. If you are planning to travel to UCMP, please check the building hours and directions page.
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What does the UCMP website have to offer?

This on-line branch of the museum provides a wide array of information and resources, organized into five main sections:
  • About UCMP — This section includes an on-line museum directory, as well as information about publications, research facilities, educational programs, and other activities of the museum.

  • What's New — Are you interested in new on-line exhibits, the latest UCMP news, or upcoming events? Visit this page!

  • Discover the History of Life — This section of the website introduces a wide variety of exhibits and educational resources for visitors of all ages. The extensive exhibits are organized into three major "wings" of the museum: Phylogeny, Geology, and Evolution.

  • Catalogs and Collections — This section includes searchable indices of our Type Specimens, and so are primarily of interest to researchers. For more information about use and content of each catalog, see the individual listings. We also have a list of on-line catalogs from other museums, including some checklists and photographic collections.

  • UCMP Subway — Visitors can take the UCMP Subway to other web resources on subjects relevant to paleontology and related fields.
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What do I need to explore this site?

Browser Capabilities: To explore this site, you will need a browser capable of handling forms, tables, and images. We also make extensive use of mapped images, such that you will find it very difficult to navigate if your browser cannot support these. For best results, we recommend the equivalent of Netscape 3.0 or better, since many of our pages use enhancements, such as justification and backgrounds, which are not always supported by other browsers. We have made use of more perky enhancements such as javascript and style sheets, so for optimal enjoyment you may wish to use a more recent version.

Speed: If you have a very slow modem connection, or cannot display images, you will be missing a significant portion of the on-line exhibits. Most of our pages use photographs and diagrams of the various people, places, and organisms they discuss. We have tried to reduce the size of many images by converting them to JPEG format, but many images are still between 30 and 50K, with some few images close to 100K. We have tried to keep larger images to a minimum, and are still working to shrink images and speed downloading; please be patient.
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How do I navigate the site?

Our site has grown very large, and continues to grow all the time. Several people have sent us messages about becoming "lost in the labyrinth", so you are encouraged to learn about our navigational aids before you begin. For tips on navigating, particularly in the exhibits themselves, try our Navigational Guide to the Exhibits.

If you need help at any time, you can type in the URL:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/help/help.html
On most pages this is not necessary, and we hope to eventually make it completely unnecessary. On many of our entrance pages, there is a "Help" icon, such as the one at the bottom of this page. Selecting this icon will take you to the UCMP Help Page, with links back to our Home Page and other useful information. Within the exhibits themselves, we tend not to make use of this icon, but the Help Page is still accessible by clicking on the large blue Web Lift Bar. The Web Lift Bar also links to several indices of the pages on our server, and a glossary.
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Where can I find more information about this site and UCMP?

Links to more information about the UCMP Web Site: Link to more information about the "real" UCMP:


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