Archosaurs and Fossil Birds
The collections comprise approximately 13,000 bones of fossil Crurotarsi (crocodile relatives), pterosaurs, dinosaurs and birds, including 600 types and reference items. The Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx lithographica was added to the collection in 1880.
The German Tendaguru Expedition (1909-1913), commissioned by the Museum für Naturkunde, in what is now Tanzania, yielded one of the most comprehensive collections of Upper Jurassic dinosaur fossils. The Rühle von Lilienstern Collection contains the Upper Triassic theropod Liliensternus and the prosauropod Ruehleia. Remains of the Upper Triassic Plateosaurus come from Halberstadt (Central Germany). Further interesting items in the collection are the Southern German pterosaur, Mesozoic and Cenozoic crocodilians and the basal archosauromorph Protorosaurus from the Kupferschiefer (copper shale).
The highlights of the collection of fossil birds are a complete skeleton of Confuciusornis from the Lower Cretaceous in Liaoning (North East China), Palaeogene bird remains from Quercy (France) and the skeletons of two subfossil moas from New Zealand (Dinornis, Emeus).
Unrestricted access for scientists to dinosaur skeletons that are on public display is only possible on Mondays when the museum is closed to the public.