The Zinsmeister Collection comprises fossils from the Antarctic Peninsula that were collected by William J. Zinsmeister, a Geologist at Purdue University over more then three decades. These fossils are mostly mollusks, a group of animals that includes snails, clams, squids, and an extinct group called ammonoids. Also present in the collection are echinoderms (ancient sea stars and sea urchins), shark teeth, and even ancient penguin bones! All of these creatures lived 145 to 34 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, the Paleocene epoch and the Eocene epoch.

The collection houses around 22,000 specimens, collected during several expeditions to Seymour Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. These fossils are very well-preserved, which makes the Zinsmeister Collection extremely interesting and important for scientific research. In 2009, the collection was donated to the Paleontological Research Institution, which received funding from the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs to curate the fossils and enter them in the collections database to make them easily available for scientific study. Research based on material from the Zinsmeister Collection includes studies on evolution, extinction, and climate change.

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Funded by the National Science Foundation