San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias - Marine Invertebrates

Marine Invertebrates


Ocean Oasis Field Guide


Collections Department

Marine Invertebrate Collections from the San Diego Natural History Museum

The Marine Invertebrates Department holds approximately 5 million specimens of marine invertebrates, emphasizing mollusks and crustaceans of southern California, Baja California, and the eastern Pacific in general. Included are worldwide collections in selected mollusk and crustacean groups. The collection holds 134 primary and 700 secondary type specimens.

Recent growth in the collection includes vernal pool invertebrates, largely from California's Central Valley region, and the acquisition in 1988 of more than 80,000 lots of benthic marine invertebrates donated by the Marine Review Committee of the California Coastal Commission. This is the largest collection of southern California benthic marine invertebrates in existence.

The Marine Invertebrates Department is supported in part by the Herbert N. Lowe Conchology Collection Fund.


California Shells
Local Shells—Souvenirs from the Sea
Barnacles in SDNHM Collections

Use Policy

Individuals or organizations wishing to return loaned material should contact Registrar Margaret Dykens at 619.255.0225.