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    John Day Fossil Beds

    National Monument Oregon


Image of a paleobotanist in the museum collections.

The museum at the John Day Fossil Beds is specially staffed and equipped to collect, identify, prepare, and preserve rare fossil specimens from the last 50 million years. After being processed, specimens are carefully indexed, catalogued and stored so they can be retrieved and studied by researchers from all over the world. For paleontologists, collection facilities are like libraries—places where information and knowledge can be obtained and used.

After being catalogued specimens are placed in drawers in cabinets. The secure storage room is climate controlled to avoid any possible damage from excesses of humidity or temperature.

Image of a museum drawer filled with nimravid fossils.
Image of researches in the collections.

All specimens are numbered, identified, and classified.

Once storage processes are completed, specimens are available to scientists for study and publication.

Did You Know?

Crocodiles in oregon?

Fossils from the Clarno Unit show that 44 million years ago, in what is now a near desert in Oregon, crocodiles and palm trees flourished.