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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Paleobiology

Dr. Buzas

Dr. Buzas in the Collections

The National Museum of Natural History serves as the largest repository in the world of foraminiferal type specimens with over 16,000 primary type specimens (holotypes and paratypes), searchable on-line many with graphics, and over 200,000 secondary type specimens. It represents probably three-fourths of all the type specimens of the American smaller foraminifera, nine-tenths of those of the American Mesozoic and Cenozoic larger foraminifera, and a very large proportion of species from abroad that have been described in this country.

Other microfossil collections associated with the Cushman Collection include radiolaria, thecamoebians, and chitinozoa. Information about these specimens and some SEM images are available through the Online Catalog.

About our Collections: For more details about our holdings

Joseph A. Cushman Biographical Page

Bulk Sample Database: Download a Microsoft Excel file of a listing of the unprocessed and processed samples/residues and miscellaneous items in our collections.



Mikrotax: Planktic foraminifer online database with the most recent genus-species combinations, primary and secondary type images, original descriptions and biostratigraphic ranges.

Dr. Esteban Boltovskoy

Dr. Esteban Boltovskoy visiting the Collections circa 1990

DSDP/ODP Micropaleontological Reference Center Collection: foraminifer sieved residues, calcareous nannofossil smear slides, radiolarian strewn slides, diatom strewn slides, and lithologic smear slides from Deep Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Program cores worldwide (Legs 1-144).

Distribution of Recent Benthic Foraminifera around North America

Guide to Packing and Shipping Microfossils