Fossils Discovery Kit

Museum Specimen Study

Specimens are all around us; they are the plants, animals and minerals that make up the world we live in. They form our understanding of Earth and inform humanity’s role in the environment. These natural collections represent our planet’s diversity at a particular place and time. Learning to ‘read’ a specimen is a skill to be acquired through practice, just like reading a book. Specimen observations help teach us how to really look at an object and make inferences! Some questions you ask of any natural specimen are included in the document below.

This helpful document has tips and prompting questions for studying any museum specimen! Use these questions to examine the fossils in Activity 4: Fossil Explorations or practice with the shark teeth below.
Check out these shark teeth from the GRPM Digital Collection. Try applying the Museum Specimen Study questions to this object!