Paleontology

For more than 100 years the USGS maintained a fossil collection in Denver.  The move to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC was completed in April. Delayed by Covid-19, the NMNH staff will be unpacking and processing the acquisition at least through 2021. The collection will be available for study at NMNH once this large task is completed.

The Lamb Spring Site

The Lamb Spring Site

The discovery of a paleontological and archaeological site with bones of extinct Ice Age animals and artifacts from human occupation

The Lamb Spring Site

Middle Park Fossils

Middle Park Fossils

Ammonite and vertebrate fossils from Middle Park, CO

Middle Park Fossils

The collections are the biostratigraphic standard from which timing of important events in earth history are dated.  The collections are routinely used as the research basis for analyses of geologic mapping age control, climate change, faunal diversity, and extinction events.

Primary collections previously housed in the Denver repository include:

  • Lower Paleozoic trilobites and graptolites
  • Upper Paleozoic brachiopods
  • Upper Cretaceous ammonites and inoceramids
  • Triassic and Jurassic ammonites
  • Cenozoic Non-marine molluscs
  • Mesozoic and Cenozoic vertebrates
  • Paleozoic fusulinids

In addition to the 1.2 million fossils, the collection includes a vast amount of metadata consisting of locality and taxonomic cards, ledgers, supplementary identification reports, field notes and maps.