Paleontology Collections and Databases

Project Leader: James Crampton

Waitakian fossils from Haughs Quarry

A fossil assemblage from Haughs Quarry, South Canterbury, including molluscs, corals and brachiopods of Waitakian age (25.2-21.7 My). Photo: Marianna Terezow

This project aims to maintain and enhance the National Paleontology Collection and its databases (NPC) and the New Zealand Fossil Record File (FRF), in accordance with best practice, to facilitate their use for national and international research and educational outreach. The NPC and FRF are identified as Nationally Significant Databases.

The National Paleontological Collection

The National Paleontological Collection (NPC) includes a large number of type and figured specimens, and comprehensive stratigraphic and geological collections of fossil taxa from New Zealand and its surrounding area (including Antarctica). It also includes extensive molluscan, foraminiferal, and palynological systematic reference collections, important historical collections and foreign reference material. The collections are used primarily for research though some of the more interesting and spectacular specimens are on display at GNS Science and at TePapa - The Museum of New Zealand

The Fossil Record File

GNS Science, together with the Geoscience Society of New Zealand, jointly own and manage the New Zealand Fossil Record File (FRF). This is a register of fossil localities from New Zealand, its neighbouring islands and the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. The FRF was established as a paper file in 1946, and is a cataloguing system pioneered first in New Zealand. In 1970 an electronic database (FRED: fossil record electronic database) was set up to capture the data from the paper records.

See Outputs and Outcomes for our latest publications.