The fossils exhibited at the Museum belong to animals that lived on the island and especially in the area of the village of Mitilinii, 8-10 million years ago. According to the geological terminology this era is known as Tourolio and is a stage of the Early Miocene.
The most recent excavations that brought to the light precious findings was carried out in 1963 by J.Melentis, Professor of Geology and Paleontology at the University of Thessaloniki, and creator of the initial Museum in 1967. The excavations resumed after 1992, again by the University of Thessaloniki but this time supervised by Prof. G.Koufos.
During the last 100 years several paleontological excavations have been carried out in Samos by foreign scientists. Unfortunately, the important findings of fossilized mammals that were brought to light were smuggled abroad and are currently exhibited at many museums in Europe and the United States.
The fossils of Samos that are displayed at the Paleontological Museum of the University of Athens were found in 1912, during the excavations that were supervised by Prof. T.Skoufos.
These animals came to Samos during the time that the island was attached to Asia Minor and to the main land of Greece in one unified peninsula. In search of food, they moved from Central Asia to Iraq and from there through Asia Minor, Samos and the main land of Greece, they dispersed all over Europe as far as Spain and England.
The showcases of the Museum display fossilized bones of small sized horses called Hipparia (Hipparion), of Mastodons (Mastodont Iongirostris),of hyena (crocura eximia), of Samotherio (Samotherium boisieri) and of rhinoceroses.
Great interest lies with the findings of horned animals which include sculls with horns of various species such as: Protoryx, Palaioryx, Microtragos, Gazelles etc. All the above are Artiodaktyla, belonging to the Bovidae family and bear teeth of the selinodontic type.