Collections

Paleobotany specimen

The paleobotany collections, including several “orphaned” collections, is comprised of compression, impression, petrified, and permineralized specimens from Precambrian to Pleistocene stratigraphic horizons and from various localities around the world. The focus of the collection is currently on Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic fossils from Antarctica (Antarctic Collection), the largest collection of Antarctic fossil plants in the world. Additional material includes Pennsylvanian, Permian, and Cretaceous compression-impression specimens from several localities in eastern and central Kansas and coal balls from the Midcontinent, USA.

The Division of Paleobotany was instituted in 1995 when Edith L. Taylor and Thomas N. Taylor moved to the University of Kansas, bringing their extensive collection of fossil plants with them. The Taylor Collection and the Baxter Collection of mostly Kansas coal balls formed the core of the KU Paleobotany collection, but we have acquired other so-called orphaned collections, including portions of the collections of Ted Delevoryas (Triassic of North Carolina; Jurassic of Mexico), Lawrence C. Matten (Devonian of Ireland), Gar W. Rothwell (early seed plants) and Gene Mapes (Pennsylvanian of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas).

Fossil

Loan Policies

Requests to borrow specific specimens for research or exhibition should be addressed in writing to the curators or collections manager. Requests should include the following information: the purpose of the loan; a description of the material requested; where, and under whose responsibility, the specimens will be housed while on loan, and the anticipated time period of the loan.
LEARN MORE

Collection Highlight:
Gymnosperm Axe

Anatomically preserved gymnosperm axes are relatively abundant in several Permian localities of Antarctica, but their anatomy has rarely been studied in detail, which limits comparison with other Gondwanan plants.

Here is a silicified trunk growing in situ in the Upper Permian Buckley Formation at Coalsack Bluff, in the central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica. The trunk has a small heterogeneous pith approximately 4 mm in diameter that contains conspicuous sclerotic nests, shows endarch primary xylem maturation, paired leaf traces, and secondary xylem of the Araucarioxylon type.
READ MORE

Collection Highlight:
Permineralized Cherts

Collecting permineralized cherts from the Triassic Fremouw Peak Locality, central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica and some sections of permineralized plants.
READ MORE