National Paleontological Collection


This collection includes a large number of type and figured specimens, and comprehensive stratigraphic and geological collections of fossil taxa from New Zealand and its surrounding area (including Antarctica).

It is one of five resources in the Nationally Significant "New Zealand National Paleontological Collection and associated databases." Nationally Significant Collections and Databases are registered as important for New Zealand, and as such are supported by long-term government funding.


It includes extensive molluscan, foraminiferal, and palynological systematic reference collections, important historical collections, foreign reference material, and modern specimens for comparison. It includes associated electronic, card, and paper files. Collections include invertebrates, vertebrates and plants.

The web page can be used to browse specimens held in the collection. Where available, you can find details of locality, Fossil Record File links, bibliographic references and images.

The collections are used primarily for research, though some are on display at GNS Science, Te Papa, or as part of touring exhibitions around New Zealand.

We have developed over many decades a policy to make fossil specimens available for scientific study, either through access to our collections or through loaning specimens for study off-site.

We welcome visiting paleontologists and provide space and facilities for examining the fossil material. Loans of fossils are possible, but in some cases, GNS Science will provide high quality digital images or 3D scans of material in preference to making a loan.

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