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Florissant fossil beds ranks among the best documented Cenozoic fossil deposits in the world in number of scientific publications and named species. The history of geoscience research on the Upper Eocene Florissant Formation spans nearly one and a half centuries. New excavations and transfers of historic collections have spread Florissant fossils to nearly 30 natural history museums during that period. The history of acquisition, conservation, and taxonomic study of each museum’s collection is unique, so Florissant collections provide examples of how taxonomic diversity, physical conservation, and public exhibition of collections vary with provenance.

Dispersal of fossils among museums, including...

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