The Australian Museum palaeontology collection contains some of the Museum's greatest treasures. One of the most spectacular is 'Eric' the opalised pliosaur from Coober Pedy. The collection also contains some of Australia's oldest mammal fossils, collected from the opal fields of Lightning Ridge in northern New South Wales.

The fossil collections consist of specimens of fossil invertebrates, vertebrates and plants, most of which are Australian. There is also a wide selection of material from outside Australia.

Palaeontology collecting at the Australian Museum began in the 1800's and continues today. Occasionally, a spectacular display specimen or significant collection is acquired by the Museum through donation or purchase, but generally Museum palaeontologists gather specimens for their research out in the field.

The goal of Australian Museum palaeontologists is to increase knowledge of ancient animals and plants by collecting and studying their fossilised remains. New discoveries often cause existing specimens to be reassessed, which enhances our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth.

The collection was established in the 1800's and continues to the present.

Taxonomic range

Kingdoms covered include: Animalia.

Number of specimens in the collection

Click the Records & Statistics tab to access those database records that are available through the atlas.

Usage statistics

Metadata last updated on 2018-06-22 11:42:38.0

Digitised records available through the Atlas

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Images from this collection