The Museum invites you to visit plants and animals from ancient times, the world of dinosaurs or extinct elephants. One highlight of the museum is the 7th specimen of the first bird Archaeopteryx from the Solnhofen limestones. The “Fossil of the Month” features extraordinary fossils from the treasury of the collections. The museum is also worth a visit from an architectural point of view, as it is housed in a 150 year old building, the former municipal school for Applied Arts.
The Bavarian State Collection of Paleontology and Geology houses one of the largest geoscientific collections in Germany and is also of great international importance. The collection includes mainly fossils, besides sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks as well as meteorites and minerals – over 2.5 million objects. In addition, there are microorganisms such as foraminifera, ostracods, pollen and algae, the number of which is in the millions and cannot be approximately estimated.
Molluscs form an important part of the collections of the BSPG. They are represented by several hundred thousand specimens, representing tens of thousands of species, including numerous illustrated and type specimens. The focus is on mussels (Bivalvia), snails (Gastropoda) and cephalopods (Cephalopoda) from the Mesozoic of the Alps and the Franconian Alb, as well as mollusks from the Cenozoic of the Molasse Basin.
Palaeobotany deals with the fossilised remains of vegetation from the geological past. Both macroremains (e.g. imprints of leaves, seeds, silicified wood) and microscopic fossils (e.g. spores, pollen grains) and traces (e.g. chemical signals in the rock) are used to reconstruct the appearance and biology of early plants and their palaeoenvironment.
The archive of the Fossil Mammal Section of the BSPG includes dentition and skeletal remains of extinct mammals and their closest fossil relatives (Synapsida). The main sites are located in southern Bavaria in the freshwater sediments of the northern foreland basin of the Alps (Molasse Basin) and in the crevices of the karstified Franconian Alb.
Molecular Geobiology and Paleobiology
The lab of BSPG Director Prof. Gert Wörheide studies the present and past interactions between geo- and biosphere, the rates and patterns of evolution, integrating data from the living organisms and the fossil record, using molecular biology tools.
Geology & Historical Geology
The SNSB-BSPG currently archives around 60,000 inventory units of various rocks, from mineral grains the size of a pinhead to rock blocks weighing tons, about half of them in external storage facilities or in exhibitions. Regarding the kind of samples, materials consist mainly of hand pieces, as well as polished sections, thin sections, lacquer profiles, drill cores and loose sediments in sample bags.
Fossils are exposed and preserved in the preparatory and associated laboratories using mechanical and chemical methods. Techniques include micropreparation under the binocular, macropreparation, acid preparation, sandblasting preparation, production of authentic casts and assemblies, exhibition technology and design as well as excavation technique.
Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology
The Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology (SNSB-BSPG) focuses on documentation and research on the development and diversity of life in Earth history, the interrelationships between organisms, the Earth system and geology. In Bavaria, it is the state institution responsible for fossil finds and rocks.