Fossil bryozoan collection

Scanning electron micrograph of Watersipora grandis zooids

Scanning electron micrograph of zooids of Watersipora grandis, a fossil cheilostome bryozoan. The specimen originates from the Pliocene Pinecrest Beds in Sarasota, Florida, North America.

The Museum holds the best collection of fossil bryozoans in the world, with more than 5,000 type and figured specimens.

1,500,000                   5,000       

Specimens                                Type and figured specimens  


The collection contains an estimated 1,500,000 specimens, making it one of the largest palaeontology collections at the Museum.

The value of the collection is enhanced by a specialist library and more than 20,000 scanning electron microscope images.

Countries of origin

The collection is representative of all continents.

Geological range

The full geological range of each group of bryozoans except the Phylactolaemata is represented:

  • the class Gymnolaemata, with the following orders:
    • Cheilostomata (Jurassic to Recent)
    • Ctenostomata (Ordovician to Recent)
  • the class Stenolaemata, with the following orders:
    • Cryptostomata (Ordovician to Triassic)
    • Cyclostomata (Ordovician to Recent)
    • Cystoporata (Ordovician to Triassic)
    • Fenestrata (Ordovician to Permian)
    • Trepostomata (Ordovician to Triassic)

Looking for a specimen?

The fossil bryozoan collection is being digitised

Any questions ?

If you would like to use any specimens for research   

Important historical collections

  • Ulrich collection
  • Arthur W Rowe collection
  • Searles Wood collection
  • George Busk collection
  • Tesson collection
  • Sir Charles Lyell collection
  • J W Gregory collection
  • William Lang Collection
  • D A Brown collection

Collections on the move

Access to some collections will be affected as we prepare for the move to our new collections, science and digitisation centre.

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.