Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment
1. The Paleontological Collections in Tübingen
- Systematic Paleontology of Vertebrates
- Systematic Paleontology of Invertebrates
- Stratigraphic Paleontology
- Publication Collection (fossils from 1500+ publications)
b.) Overview and history
The six palaeontological collections of the University of Tübingen were established as a research and teaching collection in the early 18th century. To this day, the primary aim has been to grant the scientific community access to often unique material. Beyond that, the palaeontological collections of the university are obligated to support education in order to give students an understanding of the work with fossil material. Last but not least, they are prerequisite for numerous student research projects. Additionally, in order to illustrate Earth history to a broad public audience, numerous outstanding finds are presented in the museum.
Of special value are the fossils illustrated in the works of Friedrich August Quenstedt. In addition, the museum also contains the fossils from works of Auer, Branco, Broili, Bronn, E. and O. Fraas, Hauff, Heer, Hennig, v. Huene, Jaeger, Koken, Naef, Pompeckj, Schindewolf, Schlegelmilch, Seilacher, Westphal, Wiedmann and Zittel.
The collection mirrors the activity of Friedrich August Quenstedt (Triassic and Jurassic of the Swabian cuesta landscape), of the world-famous vertebrate palaeontologist Friedrich von Huene (Triassic Saurians), of the invertebrate palaeontologist Otto Heinrich Schindewolf (Jurassic and Cretaceous ammonites) and the founder of modern palaeoichnology, Adolf (“Dolf”) Seilacher, who has not only built up an outstanding trace fossil collection, but also the exhibition „Fossil Art“, was on a worldwide tour.
The publicly accessible collection is in its structure and presentation strongly historicizing which underlines the importance of history of science and grants a view in a natural history cabinet from a time one hundred years ago.
Along with numerous marine reptiles, the collection offers a presentation of therapsids, or mammal-like reptiles, unique in their form, a group of skeletons of the Swabian dinosaur Plateosaurus, a pair of cave bears, and an overview of the development of the prehistoric world and presents numerous, outstanding finds from Baden-Wuerttemberg, among others.
The palaeontological collections of the University of Tübingen contain an estimated number of 1 Mio. objects. At present, 50.000 of them are digitally inventoried. There is fossil material documenting over 1.500 scientific publications.
Most of the collections’ materials are kept in a sliding cabinet system in the ground floor of the building. Substantial collection materials originate from the late 19th and early 20th century. Numerous invertebrate finds were added to the collection in the period between 1950-1970. A set of private collections, to supplement the already rich material, were donated to the institute over centuries.
For scientists from all over the world, we offer the possibility to visit our collection or loan material for scientific purposes. The paleontological collections have an office for guest scientists.
Please cite our collection as follows:
Palaeontological Collections of Tübingen University, Sigwartstraße 10, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
The acronym of our collections is GPIT (according to the former name of the department: Geologisch-Palaeontologisches Institut Tuebingen).
The valid numbers are formatted as follows: GPIT/1234 (still published material) or GPIT/MA/01234 (material which hasn’t been published or was not inventoried until 2010).