Geosciences collections

Pliosaur (the Richmond Pliosaur)Collections of fossils and minerals are located in Brisbane at Hendra. These are pivotal resources used to document tropical Australasian biodiversity of the past. They enable new knowledge of Queensland’s recent and extinct biota and its geoheritage. They help us trace the evolution of many modern animal groups through the last 500 million years. Information on how these groups responded to climatic and other environmental stresses is important to the determination of their conservation status. This also allows tracking of the history of climatic and other natural environmental changes in tropical Australasia.

These collections are steadily growing as our inventory of the region’s natural and mineralogical resources becomes more comprehensive. Collections are primarily from Queensland’s terrestrial and marine provinces, but there is also a substantial collection of comparative material from adjacent Indo-Pacific regions. There is a smaller number of exotic species acquired for comparative purposes.

Because of their size, only a very small fraction of the collections is ever on display. The primary function of the collections is scientific. They are the repository for the geological heritage of the state.

These collections of fossils and minerals are an amalgamation of previously dispersed collections. They are now amongst the largest and most significant in the southern hemisphere. They currently consist of over 7 million fossil specimens, 55,000 geological samples, 27,000 mineral samples, and type specimen holdings of nearly 10,000 primary types.

Access for researchers

The combined collection at Hendra is not open to the public, but is available to bona fide researchers and students.

Material is available for loan to institutional-based researchers. Types are only loaned under exceptional circumstances.

Prospective visitors should make contact with curators or the collection manager via geoscience.inquiry@qm.qld.gov.au.