Paleontology Collection in Birmingham, AL
McWane Science Center is uniquely positioned as a center of study and learning for curious minds of any age. Whether your child loves dinosaurs or you’re a university professor researching ancient Alabaman oceans, our collections and exhibits offer a world of rare opportunities. Browse our resources below to plan your visit, and reach out if you have questions about performing research with the McWane Collection.
Tucked behind our Explore! Lab, which is open to members of the public of all ages, the Paleontology Laboratory is devoted to assisting scientific researchers throughout the southeast and the world. Numerous paleontologists, zoologists, geologists, archaeologists, and more have used the McWane Collections as a basis for their peer-reviewed publications.
To learn more about our research opportunities or make a request to visit our secured, climate-controlled repository, contact our Collections Department.
In the entire U.S., Alabama is the best place east of the Mississippi River to find the remains of dinosaurs. The Alabama Dinosaurs exhibit displays actual dinosaur fossils discovered around the state. Alabama Dinosaurs features rare finds from the Alabama tyrannosaur to the dangerous dromaeosaurs or “raptors.”
The Collections Department at McWane Science Center is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and study of Alabama’s rich resources in the fields of paleontology, geology, archaeology, and zoology. The McWane Collection is open to scientific researchers and students currently advised by researchers.
Located on Level 2 next to the Alabama Dinosaurs exhibit, our Sea Monsters exhibit features numerous creatures that once inhabited Alabama’s ancient oceans. 80 million years ago, most of Alabama was underwater. Now, everyone from curious kids to university researchers can see first-hand what used to swim where we now stand.
The Explore! Lab is devoted to hands-on exploration of geology, paleontology, anthropology and zoology. Classify feathers, butterflies, rocks, shells, and more! Computer stations let you take an interactive role in learning about the scientific method. Develop your microscope skills. Touch fossils, skeletons, and rare minerals, too.
Watch scientists working on specimens and artifacts from the McWane Collection. Daily activities in the Explore Lab include the cleaning, repair, identification, and labeling of specimens and objects.
NatureScope is a unique exhibit designed jointly by the McWane Science Center and the Birmingham Audubon Society, featuring a collection of Alabama birds: a Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, two extremely rare Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, and even a skull from the extinct Dodo Bird. The exhibit includes an Audubon cabin and a demonstration stage where visitors can enjoy nature programs and live animal shows.
Guests can also meet large bugs including emperor scorpions, a tarantula, and even a giant African millipede!
Alabama Biodiversity Database
The Alabama Biodiversity Database is home to McWane Science Center’s Paleontological and Biological Collections
Check back often as new collections are frequently being added.
Recent additions include: