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Once the fossils are collected in the field and prepared in the MEF labs they enter in their final destination: The MEF collection.





The collection of the MEF meets the international standards for fossil preservation that provides the adequate environment for preserving the fossil heritage o Patagonia. The collection includes more than 17,000 specimens and is among the best equipped and modern facilities of South America. Fossil specimens are aconditioned for long-term preservation so they will be available for research for future generations.

The specimens are stored in metallic cabinets with sliding drawers, allowing the examination of the materials with minimum handling risks. The collection is stored in a temperature-controlled room in order to avoid long-term damages due to variations in the temperature.

Each fossil specimen is stored using nesting techniques of polyethylene foam that provide support and avoid contact damages. The nesting technique also reduce handling risks and provides adequate support for fossil transportation and study.


All collected specimens are catalogued in a database designed for this specific purpose. Each fossil is identified with a unique ID, the Collection Number.

The collection number is assigned once the fossil collection and preparation has been completed. During the collection and preparation of the material, each fossil is assigned a transient ID, the Field Number.

The database stores both IDs permanently in order to permanently preserve its identification. The database also stores additional information, such as taxonomic ID, locality data, stratigraphic provenance data, and collector of the specimen (among other fields of information).

Fossil specimens are labeled with acid-free material in order to avoid long-term chemical damage.




The collection is open for scientists. The access is restricted, consequently the visited should be arranged in advance with the curator responsible of the collection and the collection manager.


Coordinator of the Collection:

Dr. Juliana Sterli


Paleobotany Collection:

Curator: Dr. Ignacio Escapa (iescapa@mef.org.ar)


Paleoinvertebrate and Inchnology Collection:

Curator: Drt. Alejandra Pagani (apagani@mef.org.ar)


Paleomastozoology Collection:

Curator: Dr. María Encarnación Pérez (mperez@mef.org.ar)


Paleovertebrate Collection (non-mammals):

Curator: Dr. Juliana Sterli (jsterli@mef.org.ar)


Extant plant Collection:

Curator: Dr. Luciana González Paleo (gonzalezpaleo@mef.org.ar)


Collection Manager:

Eduardo Ruigómez (eruigomez@mef.org.ar)