Paleontological collection

An Overview

Publications on specimens from the paleontological collection

A revision is ongoing to rearrange the paleontological collection by stratigraphy and systematics. The hitherto existing organisation of the fossils is by tectonic units and localities.

The paleontological collection is specialized in fossils of the Canton of Bern, especially of the Molasse sediments, of the Jura mountains and also much precious of the Alps. There are about 375'000 objects in the collection.

Collection of figured specimens

Harpoceras renvieri Hug 1898 (Holotype), Liassic ammonite, Teysachaux, Canton of Fribourg

The oldest specimens of our collections are described by Meisner in 1820. Then we have the specimens from Studer Bernhard 1825, Agassiz 1833 und 1839, Heer 1855 and others (see pdf-list).

Regional collections (mainly Invertebrates)
  • Swiss Molasse Basin: Tertiary, mainly Miocene. Fossils from St.Gallen, Luzern, Balerna, Aarwangen, Bern, Rüschegg, Guggisberg, Lausanne, Jensberg, Laufen, Courgenay, Court, le Locle

Pecten helvetiensis (sea-shell), Burdigalian, Imihubel (10 km S of Bern)

  • Swiss Alps: Carboniferous to Tertiary, mainly Helvetic, Ultrahelvetic and Briannçonnais: An important collection which is not well known because only a few people worked with this material.


Harpatocarcinus punctulatus (fossil crab), Eocene, Niederhorn (Bernese Oberland)

  • Foreign countries: Cambrian to subrecent: There are objects of well known localities as Crailsheim, Priabona, Possagno, Damery, Solnhofen, Holzmaden and others. Allmost a third of the collection consists of faunas from the European Tertiary. The following type localities are documented: Bajocian, Danian, Bartonian, Aquitanian, Burdigalian, Tortonian, Plaisantian and Astian.
Systematic collections
  • Region of Bern: Burdigalian molluscs and teeth of Chondrichthyes (Coll. J. Wegmüller).

  • Mesozoic fossils of the Swiss Jura mountains. Half of the material originates from the Cantons Bern and Jura. Here included is a part of the collection of F.L. Koby, comprising e.g. a very rich reefal and lagoonal fauna of the Rauracien facies (Middle Oxfordian).

  • Echinoids from Reuchenette quarry, several species with spines in situ, and other famous echinoderms from Swiss Jura mountains

Stomechinus perlatus (sea-urgins), Upper Jurassic, Reuchenette (BE)

  • Trilobites (Coll. H.P. Dreifuss)



Specimens mainly from Cenozoic and Carboniferous, from Switzerland and also foreign countries. Carboniferous plants e.g. from Lötschberg base tunnel (BE), Arbignon VS, Bolton GB.

Alethopteris zeilleri, Carboniferous, Mitholz (BE), material of the Lötschberg base-tunnel


Cenozoic fossils e.g. from Öhningen D, Lausanne VD, Le Locle VD, Eriz BE, Aarwangen BE

Leaf of the cinnamon tree, Lower Freshwater Molasse, Eriz BE



Mainly Tertiary mammals (from Switzerland, French, German, Italy, England, Greece and Egypte, from important localities as Ronzon, Robiac, Bach, Cadibona, Samos)


Important single objects
  • Starfish on rock, Oxfordian, Weissenstein SO
  • Stenopterygius longifrons on rock, Liassic, Teysachaux FR
  • Dinotherium bavaricum, Miocene, Mt.Chaibeux Switzerland, lower jaw

  • Diaceratherium lemanense, Aquitanian, Engehalde, BE, skull
  • Stenopterygius sp. on rock from Holzmaden (D), Liassic
  • Temnodontosaurus sp. on rock (front part), Liassic, Dormettingen D, preparation is ongoing

    Liassic, area of Holzmaden, Germany, on rock:

    ·         Stenopterygius quadriscissus, S. crassicostatus, S. sp.

    ·         2 Mystriosaurus bollensis, skeletons, and

    ·         3 Pentacrinus subangularis

  • Dunkleosteus cf. marsaisi, middle Devonian, Southern Morocco

  • Coccosteus cuspidatus, Devonian, Scotland

  • Orthacanthus senckenbergianus, lower Permian, Niederkirchen D

  • Acanthodes bronni, Permian, Pfalz D

  • skeleton reconstruction of Neovenator sp., Cretaceous, Isle of Wight GB

  • skeleton reconstruction of Plateosaurus engelhardti, Triassic, Frick AG

  • Pteraspis sp., lower Devonian, Olpe D