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Zoology Collections

The zoology collections contain over 140,000 specimens representing mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and mollusks. The museum's collections of vertebrate skeletons and fresh water mollusks are among the most extensive of their type in the U.S. They include large series for many Midwestern species and constitute one of the best comparative collections in the country for the identification of animal remains from archaeological, paleontological, and contemporary forensic contexts.

Zoology Collections Online

Butterfly and Moth (Lepidoptera) Collection
Butterflies and moths are among the most beautiful of insects. Each of these delicate species of butterflies and moths has an interesting story to tell about its life cycle, behavior, and anatomy. Learn more about these insects and view images of the Museum’s collections.

Dragonfly (Odonata) Collection
Whether they were considered in a positive or negative light, dragonflies have intrigued people for centuries. Learn about these creatures and view images of the Museum’s collections.

Fresh Water Mussel Collection
Mussels are an overlooked, but very important, species in our aquatic ecosystems. Mussels are diverse and often very beautiful in form, and their presence, or absence, can indicate the health of waterways. Learn more about mussels and view images from the Museum’s collections.

Spider Collection
Spiders are fascinating creatures with specialized body parts and unique behaviors in the Animal Kingdom. Learn about these wonderful and ever-present arachnids and view images from the Museum’s collections.