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photo of a fish from the collection


Non-Avian Vertebrates



Our Mammalogy collection represents Alberta’s impressive mammal diversity of both large and small species. Specimens in the research collection are available for use by qualified researchers from other institutions. In addition to genetic, skins and skeletal material, whole taxidermied mounts may occasionally be used by educators from post-secondary institutions to support specific aspects of their curriculum. This collection is also used to support the activities of the museum's exhibits department and, on occasion, are loaned to qualified institutions for use in displays. Specimens and objects that are part of the interpretive collection are available to support the museum's education and outreach activities. The interpretive collection is used almost exclusively to support the activities of the museum's education and public programs departments. 

Ichthyology and Herpetology

The museum's ichthyology collection is one of the largest collections of fish in Western Canada and is still growing. It contains specimens from many fish species, both native and non-native to Alberta. The collection provides an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and scientists and provides all Albertans with a tangible documentation of fish diversity and distribution in the province.

The herpetology collection serves the same role for amphibians and reptiles. These collections are not as developed as ichthyology but have representation of all the known native species that occur in Alberta as well as some exotic species. The collection serves as the repository for Herpetofauna of Alberta BioBank (HABB) which aims to collect samples to help facilitate research in Alberta.

The collections are used in outreach events and in-house Museum Schools, where we can provide unique hands-on learning experiences. Specimen loans are also routinely provided to learning institutions across the province in order to foster identification skills and enhance

courses on biology and morphology of these taxa. Scientists and students can also apply for tissue loans for use in their research activities.


The Non-Avian Vertebrates department  is always happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Contact Nicholas Cairns, Curator, Non-Avian Vertebrates or Sean McFadden, Assistant Curator, Non-Avian Vertebrates.