The systematic part is a revision of the Cretaceous corals on the genus level. In contrary to other compilations, this revision will be carried out exclusively on type material or material from the type locality of the type species of the genera concerned. In many cases this is difficult, not to say, impossible. It is not envisaged to make a difference between genera which are considered "valid", and other, which are considered "synonyms" (this was a great disadvantage of Vaughan & Wells 1943, and it seems that this error will be repeated by an ongoing competetive revision) but to include all genera.
Data are provided on the
- type species,
- types of the type species,
- systematic position,
- junior and senior synonyms,
- morphology (description of the type of the type species),
- stratigraphic range,
- geographic distribution,
- and species.
The revision is fully illustrated, with a strong emphasis on thin sections / acetate peels / polished surfaces from the type of the type species, and/or topotypical material from the type locality/area.
The catalogue includes the following genera:
- Genera, to which species with a locus typicus of Cretaceous age are currently assigned. Genera, to which species are (only) originally assigned, are not included. Genera which type species is an Extant coral and which occurrence in the Cretaceous is questionable are included but not always described/depicted in detail.
- Genera with a type species with a locus typicus of Cretaceous age.
- Genera, to which species are assigned with a locus typicus of a non-Cretaceous age, but occurring in the Cretaceous (e.g. Jurassic or Tertiary species).
- A few genera with reference in the text, or which have species in the Cretaceous, even if they are not reported.
There are 714 genera at all (131 Jurassic, 461 Cretaceous, 55 Cenozoic, 61 Extant, remaining with unknown age). The revision is founded on a computer database built up in the past 25 years, and a large sample collection. The database encompasses all data available from the literature, information about collection material and a high amount of detailed data about Cretaceous coral localities. Hundreds of peels, several thousands of thin sections, and thousands of specimens are in hand or are available as scanned images, slides or negative films. Most large coral collections in museums and universities have been visited since 1990, and additional sample material was collected at many coral type localities world-wide.
The catalogue has between one and five images per genus; most of them are based on thin sections. More than 1,500 single figures have been prepared.
The catalogue comes along with a new classification system in two parts: (1) from the order downto the family and (2) the differentiation of the genera within the family.
For all genera (where material was available) a description is recorded with the assistence of an expert data base system. This system makes the descriptions consistent, and, more over, once recorded description data can be used for numerical taxonomy and cluster analysis.