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Beyond the Collection

Beyond the Collection is a new initiative of the U-M Museum of Paleontology aimed at anyone who wants to further explore and understand some of the museum's specimens.

Highlighting the vast characteristics and history of our specimens, Beyond the Collection is your behind-the-scenes look into the U-M Museum of Paleontology collection.

Each learning module has a 3D model to explore, information about the importance of each speciment to the study of paleontology, and more resources to continue learning. 

For spanish translations of our learning modules, please see the button at the bottom of the lesson page.


All Available Beyond the Collection Learning Modules
Specimens are categorized oldest to newest 


Life Through the Ages Dioramas

Once housed at the U-M Museum of Natural History, the Life Through the Ages Diorama explore 6 time periods in Earth's history: the Cambrian Period, the Ordovician Period, the Devonian Period, the Permian Period, the Triassic Period, and the Cretaceous Period


Hexagonaria percarinatum

Devonian Period (416-369.2 million years ago)

This module explores the Michigan state stone, better known as the Petoskey Stone. An ancient coral, Petoskey Stones are polished fossil specimens of this ocean dweller.


Bitten Placenticeras

The Late Cretaceous (100.5-66 million years ago)

Fossils give scientists a look into so much more than what an creature looked like. It can give hints to where it lived, how it ate, or even...what ate it. This ammonoid has bite marks on it, believed to have been eaten by a mosasaur



Dorudon atrox

Eocene, approximately 40 million years ago

This module takes a deeper look at Dorudon atrox. A relative to ancient whales, these creatures offered an important look at how whales mastered their open water environment.


Basilosaurus isis

Eocene Epoch (37.8 to 33.9 million years ago)

This module takes a deeper look at Basilosaurus isis. A relative of whales, these creatures offered an important look at how whales adapted from the seas to open water.