The palaeontological collection of the University of Tuebingen was established as a research and teaching collection in the early 18th century. To this day, the primary aim has been to grant the scientific community access to often unique material. Beyond that, the palaeontological collection of the university is obligated to support education in order to give students an understanding of the work with fossil material. Last but not least, it is prerequisite for numerous student research projects. Additionally in order to illustrate Earth history to a broad public audience, numerous outstanding finds are presented in the museum.
The collection mirrors the activity of Friedrich August Quenstedt (Triassic and Jurassic of the Swabian cuesta landscape), of the world-famous vertebrate palaeontologist Friedrich von Huene (Triassic Saurians), of the invertebrate palaeontologist Otto Heinrich Schindewolf (Jurassic and Cretaceous ammonites) and the founder of modern palaeoichnology, Dolf Seilacher, who has not only built up an outstanding trace fossil collection, but also the exhibition „Fossil Art“, which is currently on a worldwide tour.
The publicly accessible collection is in its structure and presentation strongly historicizing which underlines the importance of history of science and grants a view in a natural history cabinet from a time one hundred years ago.
Along with numerous marine reptiles, the collection offers a presentation of therapsids, or mammal-like reptiles, unique in their form, a group of skeletons of the Swabian dinosaur Plateosaurus, a pair of cave bears, an overview of the development of the prehistoric world and presents numerous, outstanding finds from Baden-Wuerttemberg.