Horses in the Cloud

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    Eleanor Gardner

    @bmacfadden, your recent Paleobiology paper with Robert Guralnick entitled “Horses in the Cloud: big data exploration and mining of fossil and extant Equus (Mammalia: Equidae),” has been receiving attention on Twitter lately.  This forum seems like a great place to discuss it.  Can you tell us about it?

    , @david-butler, @lcone, @vperez, @llundgren

    Bruce MacFadden

    @erscott, @david-butler, @lcone, @vperez, @llundgren, @egardner

    This paper compares very large on-line”cloud” databases that contain fossil and modern Equus occurrence records from museum catalogs and field observations. I found that there are 125,000 records of Equus in these databases and these can be used to understand and track the location of this horse in space and time. This is one aspect of the future of paleontology–to harness big data to further knowledge about fossils.

    This paper is open access, and can be freely downloaded at:



    David Butler

    I’m on my way to a degree in Data Analytics, and I hope to maybe chip in on a limited basis in such work

    Bruce MacFadden


    Wow, that would be great!  I will keep you posted. Thanks Bruce

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