collection of mosasaur bones


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Welcome to the Department of
Museum Research and Collections!

We oversee the management and curation of the Alabama Museum of Natural History collections and develop interdisciplinary research programs focusing on museum-based research. An increasing portion our collections can be found in the online database Arctos. Try our new Collections Search Portal.
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Illustration of Glikmanius careforum (foreground) and two Troglocladodus trimblei (background). Credit: Benji Paynose and National Park Service.

New fossil shark records from Alabama

Paleozoic rock formations outcrop throughout northern Alabama and have been studied heavily due to their invertebrate diversity and abundance. Despite this heavy invertebrate literature base, vertebrates have been understudied. Recently, the Bangor Limestone of northern Alabama has had multiple new ~330 million-year-old shark species discovered within it. These investigations have led to further fieldwork and museum studies of previously collected shark teeth, including specimens discovered by University of Alabama Museums’ Research Associate of Paleontology Gabe Ward during his undergraduate degree […]

Summer Cicada Surge Could Make for a Tasty Treat

In Alabama, the sound of cicadas often signals the beginning of summer. This year, their signature seasonal signal is expected to be a little louder. Every year, the annual cicadas emerge in broods in different locations all around the United States. They have a greenish to dark gray colored body and black eyes. However, this year in Alabama, two broods of periodical cicadas are set to emerge at the same time. These insects have red eyes. Brood XIII and Brood XIX are expected to […]

3D internal scan of fossilized crab

Surprising fossil crab with gills, foodpipe, and stomach discovered

Most animals and plants never fossilize. For those that do, it’s usually only hard parts such as bones and shells that preserve. However, in some exceptional cases, soft tissues such as muscles and gills survive the fossilization process and can present a wealth of information about the biology and ecology of ancient organisms. In a recently published paper in Palaeontologia Electronica, Dr. Adiel Klompmaker (UA Museums’ Curator of Paleontology) and colleagues reported on a remarkable crab with multiple mineralized soft […]

Seven vertebrae of the mosasaur Tylosaurus next to a small mosasaur model

Student develops new fossil exhibit for Blount Scholars Program

The course Paleontology and Society (BUI 301) has been taught through the selective liberal arts Blount Scholars Program for undergraduate students since 2021 by Dr. Adiel Klompmaker, UA Museums’ Curator of Paleontology. Additionally, several students have taken the new Blount Scholars museum internship (BUI 399) focusing on various aspects of paleontology such as curation, exhibit development, and research. During the last couple of years of the course, students visited and collected fossils at key sites in Alabama while also interacting […]

mosasaur bones