Paleontology is the study of fossils and how they show history through past ecologies, evolution of various species, and alterations in the world. Paleontology also exhibits the formation and destruction of different species in Earth. This type of study is the main feature of the Museum of Paleontology in the University of California at Berkeley.
The museum aims to explore life from the past and to help people appreciate the diversity of species in Earth. Its collections also help geologists, historians, biologists, anthropologists, archeologists, ecologists, and other scientists to understand the study of life. In addition, the Museum of Paleontology expects to create understanding about life in the past and how it is in the present.
Having the largest collection of fossils in the world, the museum shows the history of life and the descendant connection within groups of creatures. The exhibits inside the museum were classified according to the presumed path of evolution.
The Museum of Paleontology features various collections of microfossil holdings, vertebrate fossil collections, invertebrate holdings, historical archives, and paleobotany holdings. The museum owns more than 190,000 collections of vertebrate holdings from various eras and places around the world. The invertebrate collection contains more than 15,000 type specimens, over 500,000 mollusks, and more than 10,000 fossil samples. Their paleobotany collection consists of more than 33,400 samples of algae, fungi, and fossil plants. Specimen images can also be found in their online archive.
Aside from fossil samples, documentation is very important for paleontological research. This Museum of Paleontology maintains a compilation of images, memorabilia, and printed images for reports and documentation. Their archival collection contains photographs, drawings, news clippings, field maps and notes, and original journals created by the scientists affiliated in their university. Moreover, most of the museum’s specimen and archive collections were donated by scientists, faculty, and staff members of the University of California.