The CUMV mammal collection has ~22,600 specimens, with strong holdings of eastern North American taxa and representatives of all species of land mammals in the region. While strengths of the collection are local mammals, specimens come from all continents except Antarctica, spanning one hundred and two of the 136 families recognized by Wilson & Reed (1993). The synoptic nature of this collection makes it a powerful tool for comparative biology, showcasing the wonderful diversity of mammals, and inspiring an interest in mammalogy.
Mammal skins are filled with cotton and have wire running through their limbs and tails. Study skins represent a major holding of the mammalogy collection, with over 12,400 specimens, and allow for studies of comparative morphology, hair diversity, and documenting changes through time in diets, habitat use, and more.
The skeletal collection contains over 13,200 specimens, many of which are skulls because these are saved in combination with skins. Skeletal collections are frequently used by paleontologists and anthropologists to identify bones found in archeological remains.
Fluid specimens are typically fixed in formalin then stored in ethanol. They represent one of the most comprehensive specimens that preserve internal and external morphology. New CT scanning technologies create 3D scans of fluid specimens, providing new insights into morphology and internal anatomy.
Tissue samples allow researchers to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among species, study environmental toxicology, assess diets and habitat uses through stable isotopes, and much more. The mammal tissue collection at the CUMV is in its early stages of growth, with most samples representing local New York mammals.