Vertebrate paleontology is the study of vertebrate fossils, from primitive fishes to mammals.
The department’s mission is to collect, preserve, research and interpret vertebrate fossil resources as they relate to the Museum's mission. This ranges from some of the earliest fish, as preserved in the Devonian rocks of the northern Ohio region, to the Latest Cretaceous vertebrate faunas. The department's collection emphasizes fossils from the Paleozoic, notably sharks and arthrodire fishes.
The department has a long reputation for dinosaur research, with some of the most notable expeditions in the Museum’s early history being devoted to discovery of dinosaurs across the continent. These investigations continue today, with focus on dinosaur evolution in the Late Cretaceous—the last period of the dinosaurs.
The Vertebrate Paleontology Department has opportunities for volunteers and students. More information is available in the department Lab Directory
The department also offers programs that provide a more in-depth look at the discipline. Undergraduate students interested in a paid summer internship are encouraged to investigate the Kirtlandia Research Internship Program