Fossil annelid collection
The Museum’s collection of fossil annelids is both geologically and geographically diverse.
The collection contains an estimated 14,000 specimens, including type and figured specimens.
Annelid hard parts have excellent preservation potential, but despite this specimens are rarely collected. Annelid collections tend to lack diversity and are generally focussed on a single family, the Serpulidae. Consequently, annelids form one of our smaller invertebrate collections, although all six classes of annelid are represented:
Trace fossils relating to the worms are curated separately.
The collection is enhanced by a small specialist library.
The Museum cares for many important collections linked to major characters in the history of palaeontology.
Highlights featuring fossil annelids include:
- Sowerby collection: consisting of specimens illustrated in the Mineral Conchology
- Arthur W Rowe collection: comprising worm tubes from the British Chalk
Countries of origin
The collection is representative of oceanic islands and all continents, including Antarctica.
Looking for a specimen?
The fossil annelid collection is being digitised
Any questions ?
If you would like to use any specimens for research
Lower Palaeozoic to Recent. Each class of annelid worm is represented across its full geological range.
We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire by 2026. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected.
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