Cephalopods (squid, octopus etc) are a greatly diverse group among molluscs. The Fossil Cephalopod Collection comprises approximately 150.000 specimens with a high proportion of type material.
The collection grew mainly from significant historical collections, compiled in the 19th century by Buch, Otto, Fischer and Karsten. Some specimens were collected by Alexander von Humboldt during his voyage to South America.
The cephalopods found in the collection originate from all geological intervals from the Ordovician. Here are the most important collection areas:
- Orthocones and coiled-up cephalopods from early Palaeozoic Nordic bedloads
- Devonian ammonoids from haematite formations and Cephalopodenkalk in the Rhenish Massif (Germany)
- Devonian ammonoids from Poland and Morocco
- Ammonoids from the Carboniferous, including numerous type specimens from the USA, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria.
- Triassic cephalopods from Hallstatt (collection Fischer)
- Jurassic ammonites from Southern Germany, the Harz foothills and other regions (collections compiled by Buch, Felsberg, Rühle von Lilienstern etc.)
- Cretaceous ammonites from South America (collections compiled by Alexander von Humboldt, Karsten)
- Coleoidea, Southern German Jurassic
- Nautilids from the Palaeogene and Neogene periods, a proportion of which originating from the Tendaguru Expedition
The largest part of the collection is housed in the main "Fossil invertebrates" collection, while a smaller proportion is found in the Devonian Hall.