The Mammals Collection at The Field Museum contains more than 230,000 preserved specimens representing all orders and all but one extant family (the monotypic bat family Craseonycteridae) and is worldwide in scope, with strong geographic representation from the Neotropics, Afrotropics, Indo-Malay, Nearctic, and Palearctic regions.


If you are interested in visiting the collection, loaning specimens, or requesting tissues, please select and fill out the appropriate form below and email your request to

Resident staff support an active program of research, curation, and education with assistance from honorary associates, students, and volunteers. We currently pursue research programs in Africa (including Madagascar), Asia, North America, and South America in active collaboration with colleagues in each of those areas. Our research often results in the discovery of new species, generates new information on the ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and leads to more effective protection of threatened species.

Software and Digital Products

    lheaney's picture

    Lawrence Heaney

    Curator Integrative Research Center
    bpatterson's picture

    Bruce Patterson

    MacArthur Curator of Mammals Integrative Research Center
    aferguson's picture

    Adam Ferguson

    Negaunee Collection Manager, Mammals Gantz Family Collections Center

Mammals Collections

Mammal Collection

Established in 1894, the Mammal Collection is worldwide in scope. It contains more than 230,000 specimens and is one of the most heavily used mammal collections in the world. A total of 540 primary type specimens have been catalogued. 

A composite of three photographs related to taxidermist Carl Akeley: Akeley standing near a leopard he killed, one scene from the "Four Seasons of the Deer" diorama, and a view of African elephants.

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.