For more than 100 years the USGS has been maintaining a fossil collection in Denver.  The fossils are valuable resources for researchers in the USGS, other federal agencies, industry, and academia.  

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 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. 
Our challenge is to convert this analog data into digital data, georeference the fossil localities, and prepare searchable databases for each fossil collection.


Kevin C McKinney

Museum Specialist
Core Research Center
Phone: (303) 236-7561