Palaeontological Museum

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.

Our Collections

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.

Fossil Molluscs

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

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.

Fossil Mammals

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.

Preparatory

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, model making and assemblies, exhibition technology and design, 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.

Research spotlights

Climate change: Independent stress response makes octocorals more robust

Research Spotlights

BSPG and LMU scientists have identified mechanisms that make octocorals less sensitive to the effects of climate change than other kinds of coral.

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Recent News on Giant Cretaceous Ammonites

Research Spotlights

Parapuzosia seppenradensis, the largest ammonite in the world, measures up to 1.74 meters in diameter. Worldwide, there are only a few fossil findings of this already extinct cephalopod species from the Late Cretaceous (100-66 million years ago).

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Deep-sea biodiversity off New Zealand higher than assumed

Research Spotlights

During a research cruise off the coast of New Zealand, a team led by LMU and BSPG geobiologist Gert Wörheide discovered six new species of glass sponge.

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Museum tour

Mahogany Wood

Fossil tree trunk tour

Fossil woods of the genus Carapoxylon of the mahogany family (Melicaceae) are known mainly from the Ottnangian to the Badeian (Miocene) of Central Europe (Northern Alpine Molasse Basin).

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Three-Horned Dinosaur

Dinosaurs and fossil birds tour

Triceratops was a late representative of the horn-bearing dinosaurs (Ceratopsia), a subgroup of the exclusively herbivorous avian dinosaurs (Ornithischia).

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Ichthyosaur-Mother

Dinosaurs and fossil birds tour

Ichthyosaurs are a secondary aquatic group of reptiles. They were so extensively adapted to life in the water that they could no longer go to land to lay their eggs.

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