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Department of Paleontology


Scope, Organization, and Inventory

The collection is distributed in different rooms of the institute, on an area of around 500m2. It is arranged according to the principle of taxonomy, stratigraphy, and geography (locality).

Since 1989, the specimens are being continuously recorded on EDV. MySQL is used as a database since 2008.
Catalogues of individual collection parts can be printed on request. An increasing number of specimens is available online:

Online query for the collection database

The collection is roughly made up of:

  • Vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals): 10’000 objects
  • (95% of which inventoried)
  • Fossils from Ticino (reptiles and fishes from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio and surroundings): 6’000 objects (90% of which inventoried)
  • Invertebrates (Protozoa, sponges, corals, gastropods, bivalves, cephalopods, brachiopods and Bryozoa, Articulata, echinoderms): 100’000 objects (20% of which inventoried)


  • Triassic marine invertebrates and conodonts
  • Dinosaurs and fishes from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio; Canton of Ticino
  • Vertebrates from the Tertiary (Paleogene and Neogene) and the Pleistocene of the extended area of Zurich
  • Dinosaurs, fishes, and invertebrates from the Middle and Late Triassic of Grisons (Eastern Alps)
  • Invertebrates from the Middle Triassic of the Southern Alps; Canton of Ticino and Northern Italy
  • Invertebrates from the Jurassic of Northern Switzerland and the Swabian-Franconian Jurassic
  • Holotypes and illustration originals to 350 scientific publications
  • Historically important collections, mainly J.J. Scheuchzer (1672-1733)

Collection concept

Collection visits

A visit to the collection is possible with an advance reservation:

Prof. Dr. Christian Klug