Our collection includes thousands of items including minerals, rocks, fossils, and other geology, mineralogy and paleontology specimens. Over one thousand objects are on display in the museum, including sea creatures from the Niobrara Formation of Kansas, invertebrate soft-bodied fauna from the Burgess Shale of Canada, a room full of fluorescent minerals, as well as dinosaur and Ice Age mammal skeletons.
Highlights of our collection include:
Invertebrate Specimens from Waukesha, Wisconsin.
The Waukesha soft-bodied fauna is considered a lagerstätte, a fossil locality that is remarkable for either its diversity or quality of preservation. There are a handful of Silurian Period (440-410 million years ago) localities worthy of special merit, and include the arthropods and conodont animals at the Waukesha site.
Mazon Creek Fossils
During the Pennsylvanian Epoch (approximately 300 million years ago), much of Illinois was covered with swampy lowlands. The Mazon Creek lagerstätte consists of ferns, insects, scorpions, jellyfish, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and worms found in concretions of an iron carbonate known as siderite.
Dinosaurs from the Hell Creek Formation
The Hell Creek Formation was deposited during the end of the Cretaceous Period (67 to 65 million years ago) in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. On display in the Geology Museum are an articulated Edmontosaurus annectens skeleton, a Triceratops skull, and a replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull.
Most meteors burn up in the atmosphere before reaching the surface of the Earth, and produce bright streaks in the sky. The Geology Museum has fragments from five documented meteorite falls in Wisconsin. The largest meteorite in our collection is a 320 pound piece of the Canyon Diablo meteorite from Arizona.
After a big storm in 1897, four young boys found a big bone poking out of the side of a creek bank on their farm near Boaz, Wisconsin. After digging back through eight feet of soil and clay they found about half of a mastodon skeleton. The Boaz Mastodon was bought by the State of Wisconsin and put on display at the Geology Museum in 1915.