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Mammal Collection

Former curator, Dr. Lee Dice, in Tamaulipas (circa 1930)

The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ) Mammal Division (hereafter, Mammal Division) was established in 1837, when the Michigan State Legislature authorized the University to establish a “cabinet of natural history”.

Today, the Mammal Division collections are housed at the Research Museums Center and contain over 150,000 specimens. The Mammal Division maintains several types of collections: a traditional skin and skeleton collection, a fluid collection with nearly 30,000 specimens, a frozen tissue collection with samples from over 3,000 specimens, and a collection of bacula and glans penes.

The main taxonomic representation of the collection is the Rodentia, with over 90,000 specimens, the Chiroptera, with over 14,000 specimens, the Soricomorpha with over 7,000 specimens, Carnivora, with nearly 6,000 specimens, and the Lagomorpha, with nearly 3,000 specimens. Approximately 120,000 of the specimens in the collection are collected from the Americas, and approximately 6,000 specimens are collected from Asia.

The Mammal Division also contains a collection of type specimens. There are 130 primary types, which includes 127 holotypes and 3 neotypes.

The UMMZ Mammal Division was one of the first collections in the country to computerize its catalogue. Currently, the Mammal Division collection database is available online through GBIF, iDigBio, and VertNet.