Vertebrate Department


The mammal collections hold approximately 40,000 specimens - preserved either as skins + skulls (or whole skeletons), mounted specimens, or whole specimens or parts in alcohol or formalin.

Representation of species is generally good (ca. 1500 of the World's ca. 4010 mammal species), and most geographical regions are reasonably well covered.

About 80 types.

Characteristic for the collection is its early foundation. It has a rather large representation of species, which are now very rare, threatned with extinction, or extinct, and which have special value because they can no longer be collected.

These collections not only have a scientific value, but also attract artists, historians, writers, etc. The collections also hold many newer specimens and are of course currently supplemented following certain collection strategies.

Particular strengths

Danish mammals: Large series of most Danish species, with a good geographic representation. Of special mention are the very large series of Danish bats (ca. 3,500 specimens), rodents, harbour porpoises, otters, badgers, and others, reflecting also some of the dominant research activities of the mammal section.

Greenland mammals, terrestrical as well as marine: Very large and geographically well represented series of most species. (Exceptionally large series of polar bear, reindeer, musk ox, whalrus, narwhal.)

Whales: A very famous collection of whale skeletons with a good taxonomic representation, containing many specimens from the last century, but also many of a more recent date, as the policy of the last 20 years has been to collect all whales that stranded and died on the Danish shores.

Brazil: Valuable collection from last century (P.V.Lund)

West Pacific: Collection from the Noona Dan Expedition and others.

Collections from East Africa and Sudan.

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Last update: 31 maj 2007
Responsible Web-editor for Vertebrate Department: Jon Fjeldså