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The origin of the paleobotanical collection dates back to the 18th century. The core of the collection comprises about 10,000 objects and was acquired 1879 by Constantin von Ettingshausen (1826-1897), a palaeobotanist at the University of Graz. It was basal for the first paleobotanical exhibition, being enriched by numerous donations, disinterments, and purchases since then. The collection contains plant fossils of all eras, focussed on Carboniferous, Triassic, Cretaceous, and Cenozoic. Many of the documented outcrops are non-existant anymore and thus giving paricular importance to the material. More than 8,200 of 125,000 objects in total are types and figured specimens. During his occupation in Graz Ettingshausen established another significant paleobotanical collection, covering Europe‘s most important findspots at that time and consisting of more than 12.000 objects. Many of them were described and illustrated by Ettingshausen. This collection is property of the Institute of Botany at the University of Graz. During the rearrangement of the institute in 2020 the University of Graz decided to transfer the Ettingshausen collection as a permanent loan to the Natural History Museum Vienna.
Dr. Mathias Harzhauser
Reference specimens for research.
Fossil identification upon request.
High resolution photographs upon request
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
The staff of the Geological-Paleontological Department has taxonomic expertise for identification and scientific description of fossil organisms. A focus is the paleobiogeographic and paleoecological interpretation and the dating of deposits based on their fossils (biostratigraphy).
In addition, the staff members of the Geological-Paleontological Department provide sound knowledge in collection and data management.
Allocation to Core Facility
Kovar-Eder, J. 1995. Palaeobotanischer Typenkatalog. Typen und Originale der palaeobotanischen Sammlung der Geologisch-Palaeontologischen Abteilung. Kataloge der wissenschaftlichen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, 8/2: 200 pp. ISBN 3-900275-53-X