Museum dark data: bringing out diversity from historical collections of fossil shells
Fossils are a means to measure biodiversity and molluscan shells are probably the best to reconstruct trends in geological time and space. Museums host a wealth of data in this respect, albeit exploited to a degree. Even for taxonomically well-known collections, biodiversity is in fact usually expressed as the number of taxa present in a given region and stratigraphic interval, while sampling method, facies bias and the measure of eveness are neglected. In this talk we will discuss how collections acquired more than one century ago actually include previously unexplored data that better represent the variety of past ecosystems.