About Vertebrate Paleontology | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

The Vertebrate Paleontology Department's lab, where staff and volunteers prepare specimens for research and display.
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Contact Vertebrate Paleontology

Dr. Samuel A. McLeod
Collections Manager
Phone: (213)763-3325
Email: smcleod@nhm.org

Age of Mammals Media

Go in depth with our researchers and the unique specimens from the 
Age of Mammals exhibit.
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Vertebrate Paleontology Department

Welcome to the Natural History Museum's vertebrate paleontology department, home of over 150,000 fossil vertebrate specimens, many of which may be seen on display in different halls of the museum.

Vertebrate Paleontology is the study of ancient animals that have a vertebral column:  fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Our department has grown from housing the fossils recovered from the asphalt seeps of Rancho La Brea during the early 20th century to include a wide diversity of specimens representing every major group of vertebrates from around the world, ranging in age from the Ordovician to late Pleistocene.  Amassed over the years by means of both active excavations and generous donations, our collection is the fifth largest in the nation and a research standard for universities and colleges in the Southern California region.