Online Field Guide Grows to 2.7 Million Species Pages

ZipcodeZoo.com, the online field guide for professional and amateur naturalists, has grown to 2.7 million species pages, making it the most comprehensive resource of its kind, significantly reducing the need to search far and wide for detailed species information.

Each ZipcodeZoo Critter Page applies to a distinct name which might be a variety, cultivar, hybrid, or subspecies. Descriptions are available for more than 1.2 million plants, 1.2 million animals, over 12,000 bacteria, 17,000 chromista, 203,000 fungi, and nearly 16,000 protozoa.

The Web site's location-based platform enables visitors to view information on invasive species, species that are threatened, and all species that live in a specific geographic area or ZIP code, as well as other local information such as demographics, local attractions for naturalists, and local weather.

Version 2.0 of the location-based "catalog of all life on Earth" offers an improved user experience featuring faster page loading, advanced user support tools, and more information. Specific enhancements include:

• Choropleth migration maps that show relative densities of a species across the Earth's surface.

• Rich multimedia content including 265,000 photos taken by nearly 1,400 of the world's best wildlife photographers, 1,470 sound recordings, definitions of 234,889 terms, 76,465 large photos that can be zoomed and panned, and hundreds of Photosynth images created with Microsoft's new application that enables multiple images to be combined into a coherent visual experience.

• Charts showing how a species' numbers may be changing relative to the larger population.

• Analyses that show the average altitude or depth where a species is found.

• Ecology tab on Critter Pages offering habitat characteristics and identifying other species commonly found in proximity.

• Wikipedia-style "Edit this Page" option for content contributors.

"The tremendous participation by our ZipcodeZoo community of users and content contributors from around the world has enabled us to create a resource that is comprehensive, accurate, and easy to understand," said David Stang, Ph.D., founder of the BayScience Foundation and chief architect of ZipcodeZoo.com. "Our ongoing efforts will focus not only on growing the volume of content available on ZipcodeZoo.com, but also on enriching the user experience and ensuring the highest quality of information possible."

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