Fossil invertebrate collections

The Museum houses significant collections of invertebrates. Many are the focus of intensive research by our scientists and external visitors.

  • Rotularia fossil worm tubes
    Fossil annelid collection (Annelida)

    Our collection of fossil annelids contains around 14,000 specimens, with all 6 classes of annelid represented, across their entire geological range. Find out more.

  • Mucrospirifer, a fossil brachiopod
    Brachiopod collection (Brachiopoda)

    Learn about the large collection of brachiopods in the Palaeontology Department. It includes the Museum’s Recent (non-fossil) collection of dry and preserved specimens, as well as fossils.

  • Scanning electron micrograph of Watersipora grandis zooids
    Fossil bryozoan collection (Bryozoa)

    The Museum holds the best collection of fossil bryozoans in the world, with over 750,000 specimens. Discover more about the collection and the facilities and resources available to research visitors.

  • Pseudocrinites magnificus, a fossil cystoid
    Fossil echinoderm collection (Echinodermata)

    Our large fossil echinoderm collection contains a wide representation of all classes of echinoderm, including a collection of carpoids that is probably the best in the world. Find out about other assets in the 200,000-specimen-strong collection.

  • Naticopsis sp., a fossil gastropod
    Fossil mollusc collection (Mollusca)

    The fossil mollusc collection comprises more than 5 million specimens and includes historically-important material, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin during the voyage of HMS Beagle. Learn more about this important research resource.

  • Calyptrella tenuissima, a glass sponge fossil
    Fossil sponge collection (Porifera)

    We have a substantial collection of fossil sponges (Porifera), containing an estimated 71,000 specimens. Find out more about the collection's contents and curation, and the facilities available for users.

Using palaeontology collections