Vertebrate Palaeontology Collection

The Vertebrate Palaeontology Collection includes prehistoric remains of extinct and sub-fossil backboned fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Encompassing more than 250 000 specimens, the collection spans vertebrate life on Earth from the Devonian through to the Quaternary, a period of some 400 million years. It includes ancestors of all living phyla, plus numerous extinct groups. The collection also contains numerous large casts, mainly for exhibition purposes.

The collection incorporates the former vertebrate fossil collections of the University of Melbourne and the Geological Survey of Victoria. Most specimens are from Victoria but there is also representative material from other states of Australia and overseas. 

Regularly accessed by students and academics from Australian and overseas institutions, it is a valuable resource for research as well as development of exhibitions and public programs for Museum Victoria. 

Significant items

  • Pleistocene terrestrial vertebrate collections from Buchan, Glenelg and Portland, Victoria.
  • Palaeozoic fishes and Mesozoic ichthyosaurs from Europe, collected by Robert Damon and his son R. Damon of Weymouth, purchased from 1861 to 1899.

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General enquiries and identification requests should be sent to the Discovery Centre.

Collection access for other institutions and researchers can be arranged through Collection Manager David Pickering.

Last updated 20 February 2013