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University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History Paleontology Collections Organization Team Managed
364 Media · 141 Specimens · Managed by: Jacob Van Veldhuizen


The Fossil Eggshell Collection includes the Karl Hirsch Fossil Eggshell Collection, which is one of the largest and most diverse collections of its kind in the world. The holdings include turtle, crocodilian, avian, and non-avian dinosaur eggshells from over 35 countries, ranging in age from Jurassic to Recent. Hundreds of specimens of recent eggshell (>800) and pseudo-fossils (>100) are useful for comparative purposes. The collection contains considerable auxiliary data comprised of thousands of scanning electron micrographs, thin sections, 35 mm negatives, data pages, and documentation of chemical analyses of numerous samples.

The Fossil Vertebrate Collection contains approximately 90,000 cataloged fossil vertebrate specimens, and the collection continues to grow through the field research of the curator and its students as well as research associates of the Paleontology Section. While this collection is the culmination of 112 years of collecting from all over the world and contains fossils that range in age from the Devonian through the Quaternary Periods, its strengths are in fossil mammals from the Rocky Mountain Region. The metadata associated with each specimen includes taxonomy, element, locality, geologic age and stratigraphic framework, collector, permit, accession, and loan record history.

The Invertebrate Paleontology Collection is one of the most extensive Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossil invertebrate collections in the Rocky Mountain Region. The collection includes marine invertebrates and continental invertebrates. The collection also has a sizeable and historically important fossil terrestrial arthropod collection, including over 300 insect and spider holotypes. These numerous insect compression fossils come from the Creede, Florissant, Green River, Latah, and Pitch Pinnacle Formations, as well as T.D.A. Cockerell’s fossil insect collections from Argentina and Siberia.

The Paleobotany Collection consists primarily of fossil plants from the Cenozoic of Colorado, with many specimens collected from sites that also yield fossil insects (e.g., Florissant, Green River, and Pitch Pinnacle). The collection houses over 400 type or figured specimens.

The Trace Fossil Collection features a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate trace fossils from different geologic time periods and formations. The collection includes several thousand tracks and trackways, burrows, and a diverse collection of coprolites. The track and trackways collection was built primarily by Dr. Martin Lockley, who has spent more than three decades studying ancient footprints and built a world-class collection of these trace fossils at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). In 2012, the collection was transferred from UCD’s Dinosaur Tracks Museum to the CUMNH.


Jacob Van Veldhuizen; Talia Karim
Jaelyn Eberle; Carl Simpson; Karen Chin
Boulder, Colorado



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Organization Type
Museum, Department, or Lab Collection
University of Colorado, Boulder
Organization Name
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History Paleontology Collections
Institution Code
Collection Code
Related URL
265 UCB
Postal Code
United States
Contact Person
Jacob Van Veldhuizen (Jacob.Vanveldhuizen@Colorado.EDU)