Vertebrate Zoology

The department of vertebrate zoology encompasses all animals with backbones: fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

The oldest specimens date back to the 1840s, but most activity associated with vertebrates started in the 1870s. With the exception of the bird collection  and a portion of the fish collection, vertebrates are housed on the Sixth Floor  of the Museum. Besides collection areas, a lab area for specimen processing and examination is situated adjacent to the herpetology range. All of the collections in the department have been computerized.

Please Note:

In preparation for the upcoming collections move, we have adjusted our access policies:

We are no longer accepting new material for the research collection after October 21, 2022, unless prior arrangements have been made.

We are no longer granting outgoing loans after December 2022.

Visitors are welcome – to schedule your visit, please reach out to Zoology Collections Manager Julia Colby:; or Head of Zoology collections Nick Dowdy:

We are accepting photo vouchers, please email Zoology Collections Manager Julia Colby:

We will fulfill requests for specimen photos on a case by case basis. Please contact Zoology Collections Manager Julia Colby: