Paleontology, the study of past life, is the primary emphasis of the Natural
History Section of the Arizona Museum of Natural History. The Natural
History Section explores, excavates, records, prepares, conserves, and
researches the fossil resources in the collection at AzMNH. In addition to
working with state, university, and municipal agencies, AzMNH is an official
repository for specimens collected from State, Bureau of Land Management
(BLM), National Forest, and Fish and Wildlife lands throughout Arizona.
Exploration of Cretaceous rocks in southeastern Arizona.
Paleontological research began at the museum (then called Mesa Southwest
Museum) in the mid-1990s, and our collections have been growing ever since.
Since our inception we have steadily increased collaboration and
professional associations with other research institutions around the world.
Currently AzMNH paleontologists are involved in ongoing projects in Arizona
and Sonora. Please click on the right menu to explore the individual project
web pages to learn more about AzMNH paleontological projects.
(Left) Excavation of mammoth tusk and associated
fossils in Gilbert, AZ.
(Right) Skull of Zuniceratops.
AzMNH is both a public museum and a research institution. AzMNH
scientists actively study specimens and present our research in press and at
international, national and regional scientific meetings. AzMNH and the
affiliated Southwest Paleontological Society (SPS, see link below) have
hosted several paleontology conferences, and produced the resulting research
volumes. These are available for a nominal fee. Click the right menu to view
museum publications and their contents.
Southwest Paleontological Society
The Southwest Paleontological Society (SPS) is a non-profit society
devoted to promoting the science of paleontology. SPS was formed for the
purpose of assisting the Arizona Museum of Natural History with collecting,
documenting and preserving fossil material. Under the auspices of the
Arizona Museum of Natural History, SPS strives to maintain the highest
standards of conduct and proficiency in all its activities. It provides
educational programs to its members as well as the community.
Annual Dues: $10.00 (Family membership available)
Further information can be found at
http://www.swpaleosociety.com/ or click on Southwest Paleontological
Society on the right menu.
Volunteers in the AZMNH Paleontology Laboratory.
Tools for removing a fossil from the field.