Fossil echinoderms are numerous, due in part to the fantastic preservation potential of the calcite plates that form their skeletons. They are found in marine sediments from around the globe and throughout the Phanerozoic.
This diversity and abundance is reflected in the Natural History Museum’s large, world-class collection.
With some 200,000 specimens, including over 1,800 type and figured specimens, the Museum’s fossil echinoderm collection contains a wide representative of all the classes of echinoderms.
The full geological range of each group is represented in our collection:
The collection is representative of all continents.
The fossil echinoderm collection is divided into taxonomic groups:
Each group is then further subdivided according to:
Several collections are retained together according to collector or research publication although the latter will be reintegrated into the collections.
Oversized collections are usually housed in larger drawers near the rest of the relevant part of the collection.
In addition to fossils, the collection includes:
Each drawer has a label which identifies the content to familial, generic and often specific level.
Most of the collection is well provenanced:
Figured specimens are indicated by green spots, types by red, with which sort (holotype, etc) usually clearly marked.
The fossil echinoderm collection is based across 3 locations in London: