Did you know that the Section of Vertebrate Paleontology’s collection dates almost to the very founding of the museum in 1895?
The first specimen in the collection, a skeleton of the ~50 million-year-old fish Priscacara, was collected on June 1, 1896. More famous fossils such as the museum’s American mastodon skeleton CM 67 and Diplodocus carnegii holotype CM 84 (pictured above) were collected in 1898 and 1899, respectively. CM 67 was purchased by Andrew Carnegie himself, who donated the specimen to the museum on November 3, 1898, whereas Diplodocus carnegii was named after Carnegie in recognition of his support for the expedition that discovered this dinosaur.
Today, the collection contains approximately 120,000 specimens.