Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden


Palaeozoology section –
investigating the fossil record of animals

Oligocene shell bed, southern France

Palaeozoology as a major part of traditional palaeontology (i.e., the science of the biota of the past) deals with all fossil remains that can be assigned to former animals. In the focus of the palaeozoology section of the Museum of Mineralogy and Geology of the Senckenberg Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden are Mesozoic macro-invertebrates such as ammonoids, bivalves and gastropods.

Starting with the basic palaeontological tasks, i.e. naming and classifying (taxonomy and systematics), the evolution of animal groups and their communities as well as the changes of the palaeo-environments in space and time are in the focus of the palaeozoological research at the Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden. This is especially important as fossil biota bear invaluable information about the changes of out planet Earth during the ages. Furthermore, the understanding of past environmental changes may have significant implications for the evaluation of potential future Global Change.

Our research contributes to the Research Field Biodiversity and Earth System Dynamics.

Different macro-invertebrates ex coll. palaeozoology section
Different macro-invertebrates from the palaeozoological collection: A, ammonite Collignoniceras; B, bivalve Oopecten; C, ammonite Virgatites; D, bivalve Myophorella; E, gastropod Cerithium.