Awards and Reviews of the University of California Museum of Paleontology Website

What they're saying about us in cyberspace. . .

June 1999: StudyWeb has decided that our site is "one of the best educational resources on the web". Thanks.

June 1999: Science Books and Films, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science has made us a featured site.

April 1999: Webivore Knowledge Systems has digested our site rather well. Many of our pages are listed in their bibligraphic references for Students and Educators.

April 1999: Small Planet Communications has decided that our site is of the "highest quality" and has given us as an All-Planet Web Award, and we appreciate it.

April 1999: The HMS Beagle has made our Phylogenetics Resources page an HMS Beagle "Web Pick of the Day". Goody!

February 1999: The Learning Kingdom listed our site, for the fifth time, in conjunction with its Cool Facts of the Day. You can find the cool facts related to our site by using the term "ucmp" in their search tool.

October 1998: Snap, awarded us Snap Editor's Choice designations for our Home Page and for our Dinosauria Page. These designations are good for one year and one year only so please disregard this designation if you are reading this after October 1999.

October 1998: Nearctica, a gateway to the Natural World of North America, listed our site as one of the very best. Thanks.

October 1998: The Webzine HMS Beagle recently gave our site one of the more thorough reviews that it has ever received.

October 1998: The ABC's of Parenting gave our Dinosaur section a three-star review, woohoo.

September 1998: Cyber Teddy lists us as one of 500 Top Sites on the Web

July 1998: The HMS Beagle webzine listed a couple of our pages (Evolution: Theory and History and Journey into Phylogenetics) as WebPicks.

July 1998: Links2Go has listed our Phylogenetics Resources page and our List of Other Collection Catalogs as Key Resources.

July 1998: New Scientist listed our site (or part of it) as a Not Spot and as a site of the day.

July 1998: BioMedLink has included several of our pages in its database of useful and indispensable links.

February 1998: Education Index

"This University of California site contains information on the Museum and also contains online exhibits on phylogeny, geological time, and evolutionary thought. . . . "

December 1997: Nominated for a Computerworld Smithsonian Award by Scott G. McNealy, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

This nomination gives UCMP a permanent place at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Records for nominees are available at The Innovation Network.


"The overwhelming size of the on-line presence hiding behind the deceptively modest-looking....Home Page is truly daunting!"

Museums and the Web: An International Conference, March 16-19, 1997. Best Museum Webs Contest

Best Research Site (three-way tie)

McWorld Wide Web

"Professor McWorld" Cool Link, week of May 19, 1997

NetGuide's Best of the Web

The University of California at Berkeley Museum of Paleontology creates an environment ripe with adventure and information. Innovative navigation tools and scores of images guide your browsing through three main sections: Phylogeny, the "family tree" of life; Geological Time, and Evolutionary Thought.
Overall Rating: ****
Content: ****
Design: ***
Personality: ***

Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC): "Digital Dozen" sites for math and science education, November 1996

2Ask: Best Education Site on the Web, May 1996 review

The heart of the Museum of Paleontology web site is the on-line exhibits, featuring three main ways to explore themes in paleontology and evolutionary biology. The phylogeny part of the exhibit gives an overview of the relationships between organisms and information on life history, ecology, morphology and fossil record. It's elegantly designed too.

I-Way 500: Best Science Site on the Web. February 1996 review

You might think that paleontology is nothing more than the study of old bones, but as this site beautifully illustrates, it is much, much more. This monumental and exceedingly rich site accomplishes nothing less than telling the story of the growth and development of life on our planet. It's a tremendous undertaking that comprises well in excess of 2,000 individual Web pages, with new pages being added almost every day. The site offers two main tracks for exploration. You can trace the story of life by examining its phylogeny -- the organisms that together make up the family tree of life. Alternatively, your journey can follow a chronological path, using the divisions of geologic time to organize your investigation. At every turn, the site places information in context, so it's never a dull recitation of facts. There are just the right amount of photos and other graphics, many of which take you to more information, when clicked. The site is a textbook illustration of the Web's hypertext capabilities, with links aplenty for those side trips that make surfing the net so much fun. The bottom of nearly every page includes clickable icons for the site's Web Lift feature, which functions like an express elevator to take you quickly to pages about any type of organism or any period of geologic time.

Planet Science

The Exploratorium: Ten Cool Sites

  • Cool Site, June 1995: UCMP Public Exhibits
  • Cool Site, May 1996: Dilophosaurus!

Best of the Web '94

    Honorable Mention: Best Educational Service
    Nominee: Best Use of Multiple Media

Blue Web'n Learning Applications

    This University of California Berkeley online museum offers a comprehensive, cross referenced look at phylogeny, geologic time, and evolutionary thought.
    Rating = *****

InterNIC Academic Guide to the Internet

    This nicely constructed site contains several bits of information about phylogeny, geology, and evolutionary theory with online exhibits and key-word searching of their online catalogs.

Quain's Web Reviews, July 15, 1996

    Visiting the Museum of Paleontology is like attending Paleontology 101. This is understandable, since this site is courtesy of the Museum of Paleontology located on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Here you'll find three basic areas on phylogeny, geological time, and evolutionary theory. Under phylogeny, you can click on the biosphere tour and work your way through the 3.5 billion year phylogeny of organisms from whales to bacteria. In each subsection there are hotlinks to more detailed information on topics such as DNA and viruses. The strength of this Net stop is this kind of added depth. Under Evolutionary Thought you'll find a recounting of the general theory as well as its history, including extensive quotes from Darwin and profiles of lesser known evolutionary theorists. There's detail on vertebrate flight in an online exhibit that studies convergent evolution and there are articles on scientists who contributed to an understanding of natural history, like Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. The pages of the Museum of Paleontology are peppered with pictures, diagrams, and charts, but don't expect to find a lot of flashy multimedia elements here. It's more of an online textbook, but it's where to go if you want to pick up more information than is available at your average I-way stop.

USA Today Hot Sites, August 28, 1995

    The University of California Museum of Paleontology is an exciting, innovative, interactive museum. Spend hours browsing the exhibits, flexing your mouse and not hurting your feet. This site is a perfect way to introduce friends to surfing, or to spend some time with the family gathered around the ole monitor.

Los Angeles Times Pick, June 12, 1996

    If it's just the facts you're after, you'll find a wealth of info at U.C. Berkeley's Dinosauria: Truth is Stranger than Fiction (while you're there, check out why a hummingbird might be classified as a dinosaur).

1996 Webbie Awards

    1996 Webbie Awards: Best Science
    The depth of this site will blow you away. A good mix of high level and basic information makes for a well balanced experience.

Geological Society of Canada Atlantic, Earth Science Site of the Week

    This has proved to be a very popular site and with good reason. There is extensive information here for the professional paleontologist and the novice alike. If you have a browser capable of graphics and you don't mind waiting a little for them to be transferred, you will be impressed by their many interactive graphics. For the novice, check out their exhibits on phylogeny, geological time, and history of evolutionary thought. They are well written and quite informative. For professionals and novices check out their many on-line catalogs. They have catalogs on Vertebrates, Invertebrates, Microfossils (including SEM images), and Plant Fossils. There is also a Pacific Rim Biodiversity Index.

Cool Site of the Day

    Cool Site of the Day: March 21, 1995

c|net Website Reviews, 11/1/95
c|net Best of the Web, 1/31/96,60,143,00.html

If you're beginning to think the Web is nothing but a wasteland of media hype and worthless marketing come-ons, log on to the online version of Cal Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology, and your faith in the utility and value of the Internet will be restored. Whether you're a first-grader looking for cool dinosaur pictures or just a casual browser looking for the best stuff on the Web, this site cannot be beat. It is enormous in scope, packing an encyclopedia's worth of natural-history information into dozens of individual pages with easy-to-read text and great art and photos. It can't be easy to put together an interesting page on hexactinellida (more popularly known as glass sponges), but this site has done it. And how about viruses, whales, or creodonts (extinct carnivorous mammals)? Click on Exhibits for pages on all of these things, each one as excellent as the next. Teachers and young students will want to spend days scrolling through the dinosaur pages, and kids are encouraged to further their knowledge of natural history by signing up to become Paleo Pals. Serious researchers can access a database of back issues of Paleobios, the museum's peer-reviewed journal. And anybody with a question about a fossil or a plant can simply fill out a form, and someone from the museum staff or a visiting paleontologist will supply an answer. Though the site is still a work in progress--there's hardly anything on plants, for example--it should be a primary destination for anyone looking for natural-history information on the Web.
GNN WIC Select
The UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology -- A wonderful exhibit showcasing The UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology's enormous collection, which, ranked fourth in America in size, includes protists, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. Surf back millions of years, examining fossils, bones, sketches, and the other Paleontology resources placed online in this extraordinary and fun-to-navigate exhibit.

GNN Best of the Web 1994

The Paleontology Server -- The University of California Museum of Paleontology server is an interactive natural history museum available over the Internet. This museum without walls is well organized and makes interesting use of large graphics. You can learn about phylogeny, the "Tree of Life," or examine photographs of Great White Sharks off the California coast, which proves that palentologists study living things as well as fossils.


Dinosaur Hall -- "Mad Scientists are Cloning Dinosaurs as Weapons of the Future" -- so reads the fictional news headline that kicks off this site, a favorite among Web surfers. Neatly combining facts and fun, the folks from the University of California Museum of Paleontology will reintroduce you to your favorite fossils. Although the big, beautiful graphics will dominate your visit to this virtual museum, don't neglect the text. "Sauropod diets," a link within the "Sauropoda" exhibit, offers a glimpse of how paleontologists are able to construct theories about dinosaur daily life from a few skull fragments. Learn about early fossil discoveries in North America. The link to "Birds," for instance, reminds us that our feathered friends are just "dinosaurs that wanna cracker." If you find yourself drawn to the biology sections, select the "Any Topic" button from the home page for a soon-to-be-searchable glossary of terms. The prima donna of this page is Tyrannosaurus rex, of course, who has demanded a new dressing room.
Magellan Internet Directory
UC Museum of Paleontology: ***
Visit the Museum's enormous collection of paleo artifacts (the fourth largest in the US), many examples of which appear online. Sift through this multilayered but sometimes confusing site to learn about evolution, phylogeny and geology, or the Museum's ongoing studies. . .
Russian Paleontological Institute: ****
Mongolia is a 'dino-mite' site for dinosaurs. One of a number of important discoveries made in this region was the first actual evidence of egg laying and nesting behavior. The Paleontological Institute in Moscow has collected dinosaurs in Mongolia for years, and part of its impressive collection is on view here. . . This is a stand-out site for the dinosaur-lover of any age.
PointCom Web Surveys
The Museum of Paleontology
    Content: 42/50
    Presentation: 38/50
    Experience: 37/50
Established in 1874 at the University of California at Berkeley, this museum has about five million fossils -- all of them old. This online version tells about the Museum's purpose and its collections, mainly in text but with a few graphics laced in. It also offers a paleontological FAQ where you can learn that paleontology studies all life forms, from bacteria to whales. But you knew that. The Museum's holdings are searchable by keyword, with "Lifts" provided to take you to a specific taxon, period, or topic. Kids (and others) can post questions to the museum's director.

UCMP Web Geological Time Machine

    Content: 44/50
    Presentation: 38/50
    Experience: 44/50
It seems the old planet had quite a history before we showed up swinging clubs at each other. This extraordinary lesson in paleontology and geology will fill you in on what's been happening the last four and a half billion years, with a juicy section on those crowd-pleasing dinosaurs. Specimen exhibits illustrate a very detailed description of 160 million years worth of the big buddies-- you know, before they all turned into birds. "Dinobuzz" and a fair amount of this section is devoted to the discoveries and theories within the scientific community, itself a fascinating topic. More bird-as-dinosaur talk takes you right on up to "The Hall of Mammals," and we all know what that means: only 11,000 years to go before the invention of 3D glasses. We say this site is "dino-mite."

Introduction to the Fungi

    Content: 38/50
    Presentation: 36/50
    Experience: 38/50
They provide us with the bubbles in our bread and in our beer, but they also make most plant life on earth possible. Plus some of them are pretty tasty. Yes, we're talking about fungus, and this comprehensive and engaging site shows us how they go about their important business. Check out the vast fossil record, or take the "Web lift" to any taxon (e.g., class of fungus), any geological period, or to the extensive glossary. We learn, for example, that most of a mushroom lives underground, as a network of threadlike cells called a mycelium, that can be a hundred years old. The part that we eat just pops up for reproductive purposes, which can get pretty bizarre (although not as strange as the whole lichen story).
MacUser magazine, March 1996. Feature: "Welcome to the Web!"
Paleontology is the study of dinosaurs, right? Not quite! Paleontology is the study of all fossilized remains, of which dinosaurs are only a small part. This virtual museum has exhibits on geological time, evolutionary topics, and fossil records as well as (of course) the famous hall of dinosaurs.
eWorld: Learning Community
The Dinosaur Hall - UC Berkeley provides a vast quantity of information about dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes with lots of images and great text.
The Berkeley Museum of Paleontology - Learn about the ecologies of the past, the evolution of species, and gain a perspective about our place in the world.
Review #3690: Museum of Paleontology
This site is one of the best educational sites you'll ever find on the Web. Fabulous graphics (derived from a series of sculptures created for the Golden Gate International Exposition that was held on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay in 1939 and 1940), combined with the administration's attempt to present a fun and interactive visit to a virtual natural history museum, results in a winner. It's busy, too--150,000 accesses in one week alone! Presented by the California Museum of Paleontology, this site offers a virtual tour through the museum, and way-cool interactive online exhibits (try the Web Geological Time Machine for the ride of your life!).
Netsurfer Digest: March 16, 1995
One of the most famous museum resources on the Web, the UC-Berkeley Museum of Paleontology Web site's three-part design - phylogeny, time, and history of evolutionary thought - is free form, allowing you to pick your own path, but you can get help from either the Web Geological Time Machine or the Web Lift to Any Taxon, which are recommended. Without them, you could spend aimless but enjoyable days wandering through the huge amount of entertaining information it presents. Science is emphasized more than show, but the images are intriguing nonetheless. Check out the stunning image of Archaeopteryx. An online catalogue of the museum's collection can also be found.
Seaweed Pages, University College-Galway, Ireland
The University of California Museum of Paleontology server has algal pages that are a significant resource of information and are beautifully designed. A must to visit.
Mycological Resources on the Internet, WWW Virtual Library
The Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley provides a well-prepared introduction to the kingdom Fungi, and also to two groups that have historically been studied by mycologists, the Oomycota and slime molds. Similar introductions are available for all other taxa. These links make a valuable addition to any teaching program.
K-12: The Busy Teachers' Website
    Berkeley Museum of Paleontology
    Exhibits set up from three points of view: phylogeny, geological time and history of evolutionary thought. Students can "ride their Web Geological Time Machine." A rich site for learning.
    FAQs about Paleontology
    Clarifies the study of paleontology, give suggestions for finding fossils, other WWW servers on topic. Good straightforward (non-jargon) explanations.
    Geology and Geologic Time
    Great interactive exhibit by UC Berkeley which includes some historical perspective on the development of geological/scientific thinking, detail on the various geological time periods, and a developing Geological Time Machine which explores each topic with more detail. Site references its sources, a feature that is not found on many Web sites.

If you've reviewed the UCMP Virtual Museum on your Web pages or in print, or have seen a review of this site, we'd like to know about it! Send us an e-mail with the name (and URL, if applicable) of the reviewing site.