The invertebrate paleontology collection is ranked among the top 10 largest fossil invertebrate collections in the country and has over 850,000 fossil invertebrate and microfossil specimens from all over the world, including more than 8,200 type or figured specimens. These specimens have been used for research by paleontologists for over 120 years. The collection has taxonomic strengths in Cambrian trilobites from Antarctica and the Great Basin, United States; Upper Paleozoic invertebrates of the mid-continent; Cambrian soft-bodied faunas from Utah; Mesozoic cephalopods from the mid-continent. Research access to the collections is arranged on a case-by-case basis. Please contact for additional details. 

Taxonomic Listings

Invertebrate Paleontology has historically been the repository for paleontologists working at KU, including R.C. Moore, N.D. Newell, A.J. Rowell, R. L. Kaesler, R. A. Robison, J.W. Beede, R.M. Jeffords, and J.M. Jewett. We are also home to many important invertebrate fossil collections from Kansas and the surrounding states. As such we have particularly strong collections in the following areas:

Cambrian trilobites from Antarctica

Cambrian trilobites and agnostoids from the Great Basin

Cambrian soft-bodied faunas from Utah

Upper Paleozoic (Carboniferous and Permian) invertebrates from the mid continent

Cretaceous fossils from the Western Interior Seaway

We also have a large and diverse collection of microfossils largely due to the efforts of former Curator R. Kaesler and his students. Most notably, we are home to the Amoco Fusulinid thin section collection, which consists of over 93,000 slides. We also house thin section collections from Exxon.

Check out our growing electronic database for more information on our specimen holdings:



Locations of visitors to this page

The collection may also be browsed online via our DiGIR Portal, Specify 5 Web Access, and the Paleontology Portal.

Invertebrate Paleontology at a Glance

(Fossil Mollusks, Trilobites, Brachiopods, Crinoids and Corals)
Established: 1884
Collection Strengths: 900,000 specimens
Research Strengths:
Phylogenetic patterns in arthropods; paleobiogeography; and the study of the Cambrian radiation
Bruce Lieberman 785.864.2741
Collection Manager(s):
Una Farrell 785.864.2747