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The Lauer Foundation PSE collections focus on three main areas:

  1. Fossils from the area near Solnhofen, Germany, Jurassic Age

  2. Fossils from the Mazon Creek area of Illinois, Carboniferous Age

  3. Sharks from worldwide locations of any Age.  

  • The Solnhofen and Mazon Creek collections seek to represent the whole biota.  The shark collections are intended to study the evolution of sharks and their relatives.

  • The Foundation acquires scientifically important specimens, sometimes stepping in where a museum is unable to acquire the specimen.  We adhere to responsible acquisition practices, requiring proper provenance for additions to the Foundation collections.   

  • The Foundation follows museum standards for curation including: assigning catalog numbers to each specimen, utilizing Specify Software, and storage of the collection in a museum grade, climate controlled environment.

  • The Foundation prepares digital documentation of specimens in the collections with a special emphasis on ultraviolet  (UV) analysis and documentation.

Pterosaur Rhamphorynchus muensteri  Eichstätt, Germany

Solnhofen Fossils

Mazon Creek Fossils

Shark Fossils

Foundation Lab Standards

The Foundation Lab contains most of the equipment required by researchers working with the collections including:

  • A Zeiss microscope with articulated arm and photographic attachment is available.  We also have microscopic UV capability.

  • Photographic resources include high quality camera and lighting gear as well as a custom photographic stand and UV stand.  Complete UV photographic capabilities are available.

  • We encourage our fossil preparers to work under a microscope and use UV light to preserve scientifically important data such as soft tissue preservation.  We discourage the use of surface treatments. 


Dr. Chris Duffin, Natural History Museum of London in Foundation Lab
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