Collections Museum Paleontology

The numerous paleontological resources at Point Reyes National Seashore hold many opportunities for research. The 2007 Natural Resource Technical Report, Paleontological Resource Inventory and Monitoring - San Francisco Bay Area Network, lists the known paleontological resources in the various geologic conglomerates and formations throughout the park and recommends a field-based paleontological inventory.

The cliffs along Drakes Bay in particular are known to contain a variety of fossils including potentially unknown species of sea mammals. Due to the friability of the formations, new fossils are regularly exposed and fall to the beach below. It may be appropriate to remove scientifically-significant specimens for museum storage or be stabilized in situ.

Uncontrolled surface collecting by visitors and park staff is prohibited by law. Fossils found on the surface by visitors should not be removed from their original location by the finder. They should be reported to park staff (415-464-5137).

If materials are turned in to park staff, appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that the visitor collects no more material, that precise provenience information is recorded, if possible, and that the objects/data are promptly delivered to the museum curator (415-464-5218).

Also holding specimens found on the Point Reyes Peninsula:

The University of California Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley

The Ken Patrick Visitor Center

Last updated: November 4, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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