The New York State Vertebrate Paleontology collections houses specimens for research and educational use. The collection is continually growing and now consists of nearly 16,000 cataloged specimens from across the state. Fossils are predominately late Pleistocene (~15,000 years old) in age and range in size from the tiniest of shrews to large woolly mammoths. The collections primarily consist of specimens excavated from cave sites, such as the Dutchess Quarry Caves in Orange County, NY.
Highlights of the collection include the skull of a giant beaver initially discovered in 1845, a complete skeleton of the extinct Irish Elk, as well as nearly complete skeletons of a number of mastodons, including the Cohoes Mastodon, the Temple Hill Mastodon, the Arborio Mastodon, and the Pirello Mastodon.
Questions about the collections as well as collections related internship or volunteer opportunities should be directed to the Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Dr. Robert Feranec.