A collection of zoology specimens

Zoological Collections

The zoological collections include separate collections of mollusks, crustaceans, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds, as well as associated genetic resources.  Our collections are used in teaching, research, and outreach, and we are participants in online data-sharing networks including ARCTOS, iDigBio, GBIF, and our own Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas. The zoological collections are located in the Ecology Building on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota at 1992 Upper Buford Circle.

  • Fishes
    41,000+ Specimens

    This collection dates to the 19th century. Early collections focused on fishes of Minnesota, but older collections include specimens from the Philippines, Hawaii, and more.

  • Mollusks
    18,000+ Specimens

    Some of our mollusk specimens date to 1875. The majority are freshwater mollusks collected in Minnesota and represent an important Upper Midwest collection. 

  • Mammals
    19,000+ Specimens

    Specimens are mainly from Minnesota, but also represent South America, the Philippines, and Africa. Besides this research collection, we also maintain a teaching collection. 

  • Amphibians & Reptiles
    15,000+ Specimens

    Focused on the upper Midwest, we have one of the best collections of herpetological material in the region with 40 families, 152 genera, and 360 species. 

  • Birds
    45,000+ Specimens

    Most specimens are from the Upper Midwest—mainly from Minnesota. Many of the recent specimens (more than 4,000) have accompanying frozen tissue samples.

A group of people in the collections with drawers of different specimens pulled out

A student looking at jars of fish specimens