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Paleobotany Collections of Kansas University

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NSF Award:

U.S. South Africa Dissertation Enhancement: Late Paleozoic Fossil Plants from Gondwana: Clarifying the Role of Glossopterids In Seed Plant Evolution  (University of Kansas Center for Research Inc)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Paleobotanical Collections Database has over 89,000 entries and encompasses all aspects of the paleobotanical collections at the University of Kansas, including permineralized and compression/impression specimens, prepared slides, teaching slides, research slides, figured negatives from published papers, and figured and duplicate peels.

The collection is housed in an all metal compactor system which was purchased with the assistance of the National Science Foundation, the Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, and the University of Kansas.

The collections consist of tens of thousands of specimens with a large percentage being made up of Permian, Triassic and Jurassic silicified peats and compression/impression plant fossils from Antarctica. 

The database currently houses the largest collection of Antarctic fossil plants in the world with more than 10,000 specimens from throughout the Transantarctic Mountains. There is a large collection of Carboniferous coal balls from Kentucky, Illinois and Kansas, and a number of specimens from the Devonian Rhynie chert of Scotland and the Pennsylvanian Mazon Creek nodules of Illinois.  The remainder of the collection consists of plant fossils from numerous localities around the world.

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  • leaf fossils in rocks
Leaf fossils in rock in the Transantarctic Mountains
Peter Rejcek, National Science Foundation