The Florida Museum’s Vertebrate Paleontology collections provide the most complete basis available for study of Cenozoic vertebrate life and evolution in the eastern United States and the circum-Caribbean Basin area.
Combined, the five separate collections total about 1,000,000 fossil specimens, of which more than 720,000 are catalogued and on a searchable online database. Holotypes number about 275 specimens. Learn more about the collections…
New for 2022! Our labs and staff now on public display
A working fossil lab is a part of the Science Up Close: Fantastic Fossils exhibit now open in Powell Hall. Here museum paleontologists and volunteers are working on various kinds of fossils, many from the Montbrook site. This is your chance to meet with real paleontologists. Or volunteer to work in the lab.
Volunteer Fossil Digs–Latest News!
The Winter and Spring 2022 volunteer dig at the Montbrook Site ended on May 16. We will start back up the fall when the weather is both cooler and drier. See the volunteering in the field web page for dig dates, links to application forms, and more information!
Special Message for Visiting Researchers
As of December 1, 2020, visiting researcher are allowed to work in the vertebrate paleontology collections of the Florida Museum of Natural History. All visitors must follow CDC protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including complete vaccination and optional use of mask wearing that covers mouth and nose. Visiting researchers must arrange an appointment with either one of the curators or the senior collection manager.
All About Montbrook
For the latest news about the Montbrook fossil site, about both the field and the museum collection, check out the Montbrook Fossil Dig blog.
Recent Research News From Our Collections
Students return to the field with the aid of museum travel awards
Every year, the Florida Museum’s Department of Natural History awards funding for University of Florida graduate students to help cover…
Fossil rodent teeth add North American twist to Caribbean mammals’ origin story
Two fossil teeth from a distant relative of North American gophers have scientists rethinking how some mammals reached the Caribbean…
School lesson gone wrong leads to new, bigger megalodon size estimate
A more reliable way of estimating the size of megalodon shows the extinct shark may have been bigger than previously…
TV Interview with Curator Dr. Jonathan Bloch
Recorded April 27 2022. https://www.news4jax.com/river-city-live/2022/04/27/digging-deep-into-floridas-fossil-history/
Alachua County bans fossil collecting in Gainesville creeks
On August 12, 2019 Alachua County issued a press release stating that digging for fossils is prohibited in creeks within the boundaries of the county, which includes the well known fossil-rich Gainesville Creeks. Residents of Alachua County are welcome to contact their county commissioner to voice support or opposition to this ruling. A 2021 news article on this issue can be found online.
Encyclopedia of Fossil Vertebrates of Florida
New additions to the species accounts are the rhino Teleoceras proterum, the vampire bat Desmodus stocki, and the muskrat Neofiber alleni. New additions to the descriptions of fossil sites are Gunn Farm Mine, Ichetucknee River, and the Montbrook Site. Let us know if there are any special species or fossil sites you want us to add.