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Geological Collections

Collected over the last 100 years or so, the paleontological collections rank among the world's ten largest and include millions of individual fossilized organisms. While numerically smaller, the meteorite collection is also of outstanding importance and in terms of size is the largest collection in a private institution and the fifth largest in the world.

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Collected over the last 100 years or so, the paleontological collections rank among the world's ten largest and include millions of individual fossilized organisms. While numerically smaller, the meteorite collection is also of outstanding importance and in terms of size is the largest collection in a private institution and the fifth largest in the world.

These collections are a national treasure and an international resource, enticing researchers from all over the world to study them. The collections are subdivided into four divisions: Meteorites/Gems and Minerals, Paleobotany, Invertebrate Paleontology, and Vertebrate Paleontology, the latter being further divided into Fossil Amphibians and Reptiles, Fossil Birds, Fossil Fishes and Fossil Mammals.

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Collections

One of the greatest strengths of the paleobotanical collection is the Middle Pennsylvanian Mazon Creek flora from northern Illinois, a collection of about 20,000 fossil plant specimens predominantly preserved within sideritic concretions.
The Mazon Creek fossil invertebrate collection is one of the outstanding collections in the Geology Department.
Charles R. Knight (1874-1953) is recognized as the preeminent artist of prehistoric animals.  Knight was commissioned to create a series of 28 murals for the Field Museum which he began in 1926 and completed in 1931.
In the early 1900's, the four scientific departments collected in North, Central and South America, and Africa.
The Photo Archives has an extensive collection of geological images form the past and the present.