Vertebrate Paleontology

vertebratepaleoVertebrate Paleontology is the study of fossil fishes, sharks, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals – animals with internal skeletons including a backbone composed of a series of vertebrae.

The IMNH collection holds over 100,000 specimens of fossil vertebrates, ranging in size from the tiny teeth of shrews and rodents to mammoths. Our collections include representatives of every class of fossil vertebrates, but fossil mammals from the Cenozoic (the last 65 million years) form the bulk of the collections.

The John A White Paleontology Repository (JAW) is the official repository for specimens collected from Federal lands in Idaho, including the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Department of Energy.