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The King of Dinosaurs

Invertebrate Paleontology

Exploring the past through fossils from Ohio and around the world

Invertebrate Paleontology is the study of fossils of invertebrate animals—sponges, bryozoans, corals, trilobites, crustaceans, insects, millipedes, brachiopods, mollusks, worms—in other words, fossil animals that do not have a backbone. The Museum's Invertebrate Paleontology department performs the collection, preservation, curation and interpretation of these fossils, and investigates various other aspects of the natural world.

The department maintains a research collection of invertebrate fossils that represents the greatest taxonomic breadth of any of the Museum's collections. It includes specimens from North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Most specimens in the collection are body fossils, but there is also a large number of trace fossils, or ichnofossils.

The collection's strength is in Ohio fossils. Fossil arthropods and other organisms from the Devonian shales of northeastern Ohio are especially well represented, as are crinoids and other fossils from the Mississippian rocks of the area. The collection currently includes more than 19,400 lots of specimens (approximately 75,000 individual cataloged specimens). Objects from the collection have been illustrated and described in articles published in scientific journals, textbooks and nontechnical publications.

The Department of Invertebrate Paleontology offers programs for a more in-depth look at the discipline. Undergraduate students interested in a paid summer internship in this discipline are encouraged to investigate the Kirtlandia Research Internship Program.

Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology: Dr. Joe Hannibal 

If you would like to contact the Invetebrate Paleontolgy department, you may contact either; Dr. Hannibal at, or call 216-231-4600 ext. 3233, or Doug Dunn at or call 216-231-4600 ext. 3240