Vertebrate Paleontology

Curator Emeritus of Vertebrate Paleontology David S Berman

4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080

Dave Berman is Curator Emeritus of Vertebrate Paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA. Vertebrate Paleontology houses one of the world’s largest dinosaur collections and is among the most active vertebrate paleontological research groups in the nation. Berman received his PhD in 1969 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Berman is a leading researcher on the terrestrial vertebrate faunas of the Late Paleozoic. His work on the evolution of early tetrapods and early amniotes in North America and Central Europe has broken new ground in our understanding of the land bridge between North America and Europe as part of the single massive continent called Pangaea.

Since 1993, Berman has been leading excavations in the Bromacker Quarry, an abandoned sandstone quarry in Germany. The Bromacker excavations have yielded fascinating specimens that provide new information about the dominant life forms of the early part of the Permian period (290–250 million years ago), nearly 80 million years before the Age of Dinosaurs. Major discoveries at the Bromacker Quarry include Eudibamus cursoris, the oldest known bipedal reptile, and Orobates pabsti, the most primitive plant-eating land animal ever found.

Berman was also instrumental in the excavation of tons of fossil-bearing rock from the Ghost Ranch Quarry in New Mexico. While in the area looking for fossils relevant to his own research, he came across thousands of fossilized bones of Coelophysis, one of the earliest dinosaurs. This discovery led to further research and a greater understanding of the species.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is ranked as one of the top five natural history museums in the country. The museum maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of millions of objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. More information is available at

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