When the paleontologist Miquel Crusafont died, his children gave their father’s fossil collection to the Provincial Institute of Palaeontology, with the condition that it would not leave Sabadell.
This Institute later became the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont) and today it is a reference centre for the research, conservation and promotion of palaeontology in Catalonia (the science that studies living organisms of the past through fossils). Since its creation, the collection has increased to 200,000 registered fossils, obtained from different sites, making it one of the most important in Europe.
Among the best-known finds held in the ICP are Jordi and Montse (hispanopithecus laietanus) and Pau (pierolapithecus catalaunicus). They are all primates dating back more than 12 million years and have enabled us to explain more clearly the period between hominids and their primate ancestors.
Since 2010, the museum has become the main outreach area of the ICP. Through interactive tours, the visitor learns about the palaeontology research process, discovers what a laboratory for the restoration of fossils is like, sees fossils in 3D and the recreation of landscapes 66 million years old, when the Pyrenees of the present day was an area inhabited by dinosaurs.
- The ICP organises courses and conferences for professionals
- Throughout the year it offers, activities aimed at the general public, families and schools with the aim of spreading the subject of palaeontology.
For millions of years, the Abocador de Can Mata, in Els Hostalets de Pierola, has preserved fossil remains of hominids that researchers from the ICP began to discover in 2002.