Invertebrate Paleontology

About the Collection

The Academy of Natural Sciences Invertebrate Paleontology collection is the oldest Invertebrate Paleontology collection in the country, and the collection’s history goes back to the founding of the Academy. Thomas Say (1787-1834), one of the more well-known founders of the ANS, was a researcher of mollusks, recent and fossil insects, and other invertebrates.

The ANSP IP collection is estimated to contain over 1 million invertebrate specimens, including 5,000 types from over 100 authors, many of them the earliest and most prominent workers in American and British paleontology. Some of the more significant contributors to the type and general collections include Timothy A. Conrad, William M. Gabb, Henry C. Lea, Isaac Lea, Samuel G. Morton, Axel A. Olsson, Anne Harbison and Henry A. Pilsbry.

Strengths of the collection are in Cenozoic and Cretaceous Mollusca of the New World, particularly the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains; Quaternary Mollusca worldwide; and the Mesozoic of England. About 75% of the collection is comprised of molluscan fossils.

 
Portrait of Henry A. Pilsbry courtesy of the ANSP Malacology Department
 

Staff