Vertebrate Paleontology Collections
The vertebrate paleontology collections consists of approximately 500,000 individual specimens ranging in age from Ordovician through Pleistocene. Although the age range of the collection spans a time frame of nearly 400 million years, the majority of specimens are derived from deposits of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway and the Eocene-Oligocene of the White River Group in the northern Great Plains. Other significant holdings include specimens from Miocene deposits of the northern Great Plains, Pleistocene vertebrates from central Oregon, and Cretaceous marine fossils from Antarctica. Collections include holding of the Museum proper as well as repository collections from the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, and several tribal agencies.
Tail section of nearly complete Cretaceous Mosasaur skeleton, currently on display at the Journey Museum, Rapid City (Photo from Laurie Anderson).