The Invertebrate Paleontology collection contains nearly one
million specimens representing every major invertebrate fossil
group and from localities around the world. It is among the most
scientifically important collections in North America, containing
nearly 2,911 type specimens (591 holotypes, 1 neotype, 3 lectotypes,
76 syntypes, 2,231 paratypes, and 9 paralectotypes) and over
5,000 figured specimens. Additionally, several thousand tertiary
types (topotypes, homeotypes, etc.) and casts of type and representative
specimens from around the world are present in the collections.
The Invertebrate Paleontology Collection represent the combined
efforts of OMNH, University of Oklahoma School of Geology and
Geophysics, and Oklahoma Geological Survey paleontologists. The
Collection represents the efforts of several
More recently, a large donation of megafossils by Amoco Oil Company
(now BP-Amoco) transformed the Invertebrate Paleontology Collection
into a unique mixture of specimens that represent the results
of both basic and applied research.
The collection is housed in a modern, state of the art, facility
and stored in mostly new collection cases. The majority of these
new cases were purchased with the help of National Science Foundation
Grant number DBI-9876782. The Invertebrate Paleontology Collection
is segregated into Type and Figured Specimen Collection, Referred
Specimen Collection, Thesis and Dissertation Collection, General
Stratigraphic Collection, Amsden Collection, Decker
Sutherland Collection, Stitt Collection, and B.P.-Amoco
This segregation allows for ease of storage and the grouping
of major individual collections.
A large proportion of the Collection is from localities in Oklahoma,
with a majority of the collection represented by Paleozoic specimens.
The Amsden Collection includes reference materials from various
localities in the Ordovician through Devonian of the United States,
Canada, Britain, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. The Amoco
Collection include specimens from the lower Paleozoic of the
United States, Canada, Japan, and Russia, and Mesozoic and Tertiary
specimens from all of North America and parts of Southeast Asia.
Current research in the Division of Invertebrate
Paleontology focuses on the systematics, biostratigraphy, paleoecology
and macroevolutionary patterns of Cambrian and Ordovician trilobites.
Trilobite collections have grown significantly in recent years,
with additions of samples from Oklahoma, Texas, the Upper Mississippi
Valley, the Great Basin and Wyoming.
Dr. Stephen R. Westrop, Curator
Roger J. Burkhalter, Collection Manager
Lydia Busse, Undergraduate Student
Sandy Dengler, Graduate Student
Jennifer Eoff, Graduate Student
Raina Waskiewicz, Graduate Student
Lisa Amati, Affiliated Research Associate