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Animals

Zoological research at The Field Museum is organized around six collections: Amphibians and Reptiles, Birds, Fishes, Insects (with arachnids and myriapods), Invertebrates, and Mammals. Each collection has its own staff, maintaining world-class holdings that together total more than 19.5 million zoological specimens from around the world. In addition to their diverse research programs, the our zoologists actively build collections, train graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, contribute to exhibits and other public programs, and serve the diverse needs of the public and scientific communities.

Animals Collections

Photo Archives - Carl Akeley Collection

Carl Akeley worked at The Field Museum from 1896 to 1909, collecting and mounting animals for the Museum's exhibitions.  While working at The Field Museum he pioneered a number of advancements in the field of taxidermy.  Among them was a method of sculpting the underlying mannequin that gives all of his work its perfectly lifelike appearance.  Akeley was also ground breaking in posing animals in accurate recreations of their natural habitats.  Akeley's brilliant work can still be seen today in a number of The Field Museum's exhibitions.

Ant (Formicidae) Collection

The Field Museum ant collection is worldwide in scope and includes the important Robert E. Gregg Collection among others.  Although the majority of the Gregg collections are from the USA, it also includes important collections from around the world.  There are also extensive wet (70% alcohol preserved) worldwide collections due to the efforts of previous collectors including H.S. Dybas and S.B. and J.

All Arthropod Collections

The Field Museum's Division of Insects houses worldwide collections of Arthropoda (excluding Crustacea) that rank fifth in overall size among North American collections. At present, the collection includes approximately 4.1 million pinned insects and 8 million specimens or lots of insects and other arthropods in alcohol or on microscope slides. The collection receives heavy use by US and international visitors and borrowers. Collection data are now available online in KE EMu for many parts of the collection:

Invertebrates

The collections currently exceeds 340,000 catalogued lots (= specimen series) with continuing growth. Research and collecting traditionally focused on the phylum Mollusca with more than 328,000 cataloged lots. Non-mollusk invertebrates are represented by ca. 14,500 cataloged lots with the Arthropoda (ca. 50%), Annelida (20 %), Echinodermata (8 %), Cnidaria (7%) and Porifera (5 %) best represented.

Fishes Collection Localities

This search allows you to explore all of Field Museum's Division of Fishes recorded collection localities.  With more than 1.7 million cataloged and uncataloged specimens in approximately 130,000 lots, our worldwide collections receive heavy use by US and international visitors and borrowers.   If you are through searching this database, we encourage you to contact us with any questions or requests.

Bird Specimen Collection

This search allows you to explore Field Museum's Bird Division main collection of skin, sleleton, and spirit specimens.  With more than 500,000 data-rich specimens, our worldwide collections receive heavy use by US and international visitors and borrowers.  

Bird Egg Collection

This search allows you to explore Field Museum's Bird Division egg and nest collections.  With more than 500,000 data-rich specimens, our worldwide collections receive heavy use by US and international visitors and borrowers.