Brachiopod collection

Mucrospirifer, a fossil brachiopod

Ventral view of Mucrospirifer, a fossil brachiopod, showing the characteristically wing-like shell. This Devonian specimen from Ohio is 3.5cm wide.

Brachiopod hard parts have excellent preservation potential. As a result, the Museum’s Brachiopod collection has more than 300,000 specimens, including 10,000 type and figured specimens.

300,000                  10,000      

Specimens                           Type specimens   

Strengths

Uniquely, the collection includes recent (non-fossil) dry and preserved specimens in addition to fossil material.

The value of the collection is enhanced by a specialist library.

Geological range

The full geological range of each subphylum of brachiopod is represented in our collection:

  • Craniiformea (Lower Cambrian to Recent)
  • Linguliformea (Lower Cambrian to Recent)
  • Rhynchonelliformea (Lower Cambrian to Recent)

Major collections

  • Sowerby Collection: contains brachiopod specimens illustrated in the Mineral Conchology
  • William Smith Collection: contains specimens associated with his pioneering mapping of Britain
  • Sir Charles Darwin Collection: brachiopod specimens collected from South America during the voyage of HMS Beagle
  • Davidson Collection

Countries of origin

The collection is representative of oceanic islands and all continents including Antarctica.

Looking for a specific specimen?

The Brachiopod collection is being digitised

Curator

Zoë Hughes

Any questions ?

If you would like to use any specimens for research   

visitor-accessing-collections-hti-single

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.