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Now online: “Leaf structure and evolution” in DEAL

The Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life (DEAL), part of the broader Digital Atlas of Ancient Life (DAoAL) project, is an online, open-access textbook currently under development. The goal of DEAL is to produce a comprehensive paleontological textbook with coverage of all major groups of organisms, including plants. The chapter on Embryophytes (by E.J. Hermsen) now includes a core collection of more than 10 pages covering general botanical subjects such as vascular plant structure, leaf structure and evolution, and plant life cycles, with more pages under construction. Most content on DEAL has Creative Commons (CC) licensing to allow educators to use it with limited restrictions.

Additionally, a Virtual Collection of 3D models of fossils for many major groups of organisms can be accessed on the DAoAL website—which includes a user guide with videos—or on the DAoAL Sketchfab page. All models are provided without copyright restrictions (CC0 Public Domain license) and can be embedded into course websites or used for other purposes, including 3D printing.

The Virtual Collection and Digital Encyclopedia can be accessed through the DAoAL homepage: The virtual collection can also be accessed through the DAoAL Sketchfab page: Updates to these projects are posted on social media (Facebook, Twitter) under @PaleoDigAtlas, as well as highlighted on the DAoAL homepage.

We hope you and/or your students may enjoy these resources.

Elizabeth Hermsen, Ithaca, NY, USA