Palaeontology collection

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

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.

Reopening of Collection Services

We are pleased to announce that the South Australian Museum is gradually reopening access to its collections. While we continue to work through essential audit tasks, we are now able to slowly resume our collection services as capacity allows.

  • Acquisitions: We are now accepting acquisitions on a limited basis. Please contact us to discuss any potential donations.

  • Loans and Viewing Requests: We are also starting to process requests for loans and viewings of collection items. We appreciate your patience as we work through these requests.

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage: We remain committed to prioritising access for Aboriginal communities to their cultural heritage materials, especially for repatriation activities.

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

For any questions or further information, please contact us at

Thank you for your understanding and support.

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