A comprehensive, but simple-to-use software package for executing a range of standard numerical analysis and operations used in quantitative paleontology has been developed. The program, called PAST (PAleontological STatistics), runs on standard Windows computers and is available free of charge. PAST integrates spreadsheet-type data entry with univariate and multivariate statistics, curve fitting, time-series analysis, data plotting, and simple phylogenetic analysis. Many of the functions are specific to paleontology and ecology, and these functions are not found in standard, more extensive, statistical packages. PAST also includes fourteen case studies (data files and exercises) illustrating use of the program for paleontological problems, making it a complete educational package for courses in quantitative methods.
Øyvind Hammer. Paleontological Museum, University of Oslo, Sars gate1, 0562 Oslo, Norway.
David A. T. Harper. Geological Museum, Øster Voldgade 5-7, University of Copenhagen, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark.
Paul D. Ryan. Department of Geology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.
Keywords: Software, data analysis, education
Copyright: Palaeontological Association, 22 June 2001
Submission: 28 February 2001 Acceptance: 13 May 2001