Australian Museum Mammalogy Collection

Mammalogy is the study of mammals. Mammals include placental mammals such as rodents, primates and whales; marsupials such as kangaroos and koalas; and monotremes such as the platypus and echidna.

Mammal Collection

Tiki Rand © Australian Museum

Mammals are warm-blooded animals that have:

  • mammary glands which produce milk
  • hair of some form (even whales have hair)
  • live births (except for monotremes which lay eggs)

About the collection

The Australian Museum Mammalogy collection is one of the most comprehensive collections of Australasian mammals in the world. Some of the biggest collections are from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands.

Among the most important specimens in the collection are the more than 400 type specimens (types are the original specimens on which the first description of a particular species or subspecies is based). Other important specimens are the extinct species about which little is known, such as the Pig-footed Bandicoot, Eastern Hare-wallaby, and the Thylacine.

Types

The Australian Museum Mammal collection contains specimens of more than 170 different taxa. Most types in the collection are from Australia, although there are also many from other parts of the Pacific region including many from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia. Like specimens of extinct species, the types are stored separate from the main collection so they can be readily accessed for research and curation purposes.


Dr Sandy Ingleby , Collection Manager, Mammalogy
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