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Collections Sizes

The collections contain more than 7.3 million research specimens, including type specimens in the scientific collections. Type specimens refer to those specimens used to describe individual species; these have the highest scientific value for each collection.

Quino checkerspot butterfly

Birds and Mammals: 48,415 bird skins and skeletons of birds with 48 primary type bird specimens. Mammals: 23,601 skins and skeletons of mammals with 89 primary and secondary type mammal specimens.

Botany: 220,086 botanical specimens (vascular and non-vascular) with 447 types.

Entomology: 600,000 terrestrial pinned and labeled invertebrates and 50,000 insects preserved in 70% ethanol with 212 primary and 1385 secondary types.

Herpetology: 76,400 reptiles and amphibians, with 60 primary and 718 secondary type specimens. 

Marine invertebrates: 5 million specimens with 134 primary and 700 secondary types.

Mineralogy: 15,000 samples

Paleontology: 1.2 million plant, vertebrate and invertebrate fossils; includes 148 holotypes and 392 paratypes; 786 secondary types (figured and referred specimens).

Plus additional library, historical and interpretive collections:

Research Library: 56,000 volumes in the main collection; at least 2,350 in the Klauber Library; 1094 in Valentien collection; bird paintings by Allan Brooks (61)

Archives: 400 cu ft.

Photo archives: at least 50,000 items

Maps: 4,000 of which 25% have historical importance

Exhibit collections: approximately 500-600 specimens held in 22,900 sq.ft. of exhibit space and additional storage space: traveling exhibits use approximately 7200 sq.ft.; temporary exhibits gallery; 8000 sq.ft.; in 2West. Core exhibitions space includes 9,000 sq.ft. for Fossil Mysteries).

Nature to You Loan Collection: over 1,300 specimens