Thanks to the important work of Giovanni Capellini, the first to hold the chair of Geology in Italy, the museum officially opened in 1881 and was enriched with geopaleontological finds from all over the world, of unsurpassed scientific, educational and expositive importance.
Nowadays the collection witnesses more than five hundred years of educational and research activity, with assets of nearly one million pieces placed in the original furnishing of the late 19th century including rocks, plants, invertebrate and vertebrate fossils. In the halls one can admire the spectacular skeletons of “Mastodonte proboscidato pliocenico”, the rich collection of Eocene fish of Monte Bolca, pliocene whales and the impressive model of Diplodocus Jurassic Dinosaur, twentysix meters long and four meters high. Nowadays it is the largest and most important Italian palaeontological museum for vastness and importance of its collections.
The museum is part of Sistema Museale d'Ateneo Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna - SMA