Palaeontology collection

Some of the most important palaeontology sites in the world are found in South Australia.

Temporary suspension of collection services

Access to the Collections of the South Australian Museum will be closed from late November 2023 while our staff undertake essential audit work. During this time we will not be accepting acquisitions or requests for loan or viewing of collection items.

All pre-existing bookings and commitments made prior to December 2023 will be honoured.  We will also continue to honour requests from Aboriginal communities for access relating to repatriation activities.

This closure is expected to continue until mid-2024.

Our galleries remain open to the public, 10am-5pm every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Any questions can be sent to

The South Australian Museum is responsible for around 50,000 registered fossil specimens. Strengths of the collection include fossils of the Ediacaran biota, South Australian Cambrian invertebrates, Late Triassic plant fossils, Early Cretaceous Marine vertebrates and invertebrates including opalised fossils, Tertiary invertebrates and Tertiary and Pleistocene vertebrates.

Redlichia rex Cambrian fossil


The South Australian Museum collection of Ediacaran and Cambrian fossils has been greatly enlarged by the incorporation of collections from the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, making this a research resource of global importance for studying the fossil origin of metazoans and the so-called Cambrian explosion of animal life.

Bones from old owl roost in a cave on Boolcoomatta Reserve


The term subfossil refers to the skeletal remains (or other evidence such as nests) of animals that are not ancient enough to be considered true fossils but can neither be considered modern.

Coming up next


Up next:
Archives collection