Actually seeing the group you’re studying is kind of important. Pictures and descriptions in papers can only get you so far. Seeing the fossils themselves helps you get a better understanding of them. Plus, there’s always the chance that someone, somewhere interpreted something incorrectly.
Some researchers can get by with collecting their own fossils or getting specimens on loan. The amount of material I need to look at is substantial, though, and getting international loans is much trickier than just traveling there yourself. Which means I need to visit a lot of collections to see their alligatoroid material.
If you’re like me and need to travel extensively, I recommend taking advantage of the “create map” feature on Google Maps. It helped me place collections geographically and plan out my trips.
Below are the collections I’ll be/have been visiting as part of my dissertation studies (English translations of the names). Collections I’ve already been to have been struckthrough. I’m still in the process of contacting collections managers, so museums I haven’t visited may be added or removed throughout the course of my dissertation. There are others I would like to visit later, but won’t be able to before graduation.
American Museum of Natural History- New York City, NY Carnegie Museum of Natural History- Pittsburgh, PA East Tennessee State University- Johnson City, TN University of Florida Museum of Natural History- Gainesville, FL Field Museum of Natural History- Chicago, IL Museum of Comparative Zoology- Cambridge, MA North Carolina Museum of Natural History- Raleigh, NC New Jersey State Museum- Trenton, NJ New Mexico Museum of Natural History- Albuquerque, NM Smithsonian Institution Natural History Museum- Washington, D.C. Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, Claremont, CA University of Texas Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory- Austin, TX Yale Peabody Museum- New Haven, CT
- University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, CA
- Science Museum of Minnesota- St. Paul, MN
- Burpee Museum of Natural History- Rockford, IL
- Utah Field House of Natural History- Vernal, UT
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument- Kimberly, OR
Sirindhorn Museum- Wat Sakkawan, Kalasin district Maha Sarakham University- Maha Sarakham, Maha Sarakham district
- Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology- Beijing
- Shanwang Paleontology Museum- Linqu, Shandong Province
- Sun Yat-sen University School of Life Sciences- Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
- Natural History Museum- London, England
- Dinosaur Isle- Isle of Wight, England
- National Museum of Natural History- Paris
- Marseille Museum of Natural History- Marseille
- Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences- Brussels
- Natural History Museum of Basel
- Natural History Museum- Berlin
- Senckenberg Museum- Frankfurt
- Hessian State Museum- Darmstadt
- Paleontology Museum- Nierstein
- State Museum of Natural History- Stuttgart
- State Museum of Natural History- Karlsruhe
- Paleontology Museum- Munich
- Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg- Halle