Mammalogy Collection

Limited collection access May 2014 to August 2014 (marine mammals) and March 2015 to July 2015

Due to a major relocation project during 2014-2015, there will be limited access to the Mammalogy Collection from May 2014 to August 2014 (marine mammals) and March 2015 to July 2015. Be advised that we may not be able to accommodate requests for loans or visitation during this period. If possible, please arrange to work outside this period. Further updates regarding collection closure will be posted in due course. Thank you for your patience.

This major Australian collection encompasses more than 30 000 specimens, representing more than 1000 species of mammals. It emphasises Victorian mammal distribution, both past and present; mammal biology and ecology; representatives of Australian and non-Australian faunas; historical collections obtained on scientific expeditions; and practical applications of science relating to the history of Victoria.

The collection contains three major kinds of specimens:

  • Skins and mounts: these cover most world families and are a broad representation of mammal diversity. Many have historical interest, being procured from overseas sources and local exploratory trips.
  • Skeletons: an effort has been made to accrue a series of skeletal material that represents all Australian mammal fauna. As a result the museum holds one of the best-documented and largest collections of such material. This is constantly used by osteologists and archaeologists.
  • Alcoholic: while other collections have lost, through preparation, internal organs and muscle tissues, the wet collection contains materials useful in anatomical studies. These have been retained in a preserved state.

Significant items

  • Type specimens from Australian sources.
  • Large osteological collection covering all Australian mammal families and the majority of world families.
  • Cetacean collection including material obtained from beach strandings.
  • Arthur Rylah/Fisheries and Wildlife Collections: extensive material obtained by survey work throughout Victoria.
  • Spencer and Gillen Expedition: large well-documented collection from central and northern Australian localities of historic and scientific value.

Last updated 20 Feburary 2013