Collections of the
Division of Mammals
Containing over 250,000 catalogued specimens, the collection ranks among the 5 largest worldwide and is a hub of research activity and training efforts at the University of New Mexico as witnessed through publications, dissertations, honor’s theses, grants and annual growth. Use of the collection has increased tremendously through the utilization of our web-based database, reflecting a new trend in environmental and genomics research that ties other large informatics resources (e.g., GenBank, BerkeleyMapper) to archival collections.
Specimens are loaned world-wide to a variety of investigators and the Division hosts a wide array of visitors annually (e.g. visiting researchers, K-12 school groups, UNM classes, lay public).
Specimens at MSB are managed within the ARCTOS (Oracle-based management with a Cold Fusion web interface) system, a database that integrates specimens, scientific results, and extensive collection-management tools to facilitate the use of biological collections.
ARCTOS integrates with BerkeleyMapper, GenBank, and GoogleEarth. A DiGIR provider supplies various federated portals (e.g., GBIF). Fifty four collections at UC Berkeley, University of Alaska Museum of the North, Denver Museum of Natural History, University of Wyoming, Western New Mexico University and the MSB share a multi-hosting version of ARCTOS. Independent clones are under development by the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. ARCTOS is largely based on the Collections Information System at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.
BREADTH OF THE COLLECTION
GEOGRAPHIC - The collection is world-wide in scope (72 countries) with particularly strong holdings from the Southwestern United States, Beringia, Mongolia, and Latin America.
TAXONOMIC - 27 orders, 103 families, 513 genera, ~1,400 species are represented. The majority from the Orders Rodentia (190,000), Chiroptera (25,000), Carnivora (15,000), Soricomorpha (10,000), and Artiodactyla (7,500).
TEMPORAL - The collection contains specimens dating back to 1890, with the major holdings documenting the rapid environmental change from 1950s on.
PREPARATION TYPES - Skin, skull, post-cranial skeletal, fluid preserved whole organisms, frozen tissue (heart, kidney, liver, lung, spleen, muscle, blood, ear clips), cell suspensions, karyotype test slides, parasites (endo and ecto).
The collection contains 16 holotypes, 6 paratypes, 1 syntype, 93 symbiotypes (View Type Specimen List).
FIELDNOTES - The MSB houses an extensive archive of field journals and catalogues that date to the 1900's
and are associated with specimens held in the collection. Search fieldnotes
MAJOR STRENGTHS OF THE COLLECTION
150,000 specimens from the Southwestern United States (NM, AZ, TX, UT, CO, NV, CA)
26,000 specimens from high latitudes - NSF funded BCP, USDA and DOI funded ISLES
5,000 specimens from Panama - NIH funded Panama ICIDR
7,000 specimens from Chile - NIH funded Chile ICIDR
10,200 specimens from Bolivia - NSF funded Mammalian Diversity in Bolivia
4,200 specimens from Mongolia - NSF funded Mongolian Vertebrate Parasite Project
RECENTLY INCORPORATED COLLECTIONS
USGS Biological Surveys collection - >26,000 specimens documenting the fauna of the Federal lands of the West.
UIMNH (Hoffmeister) collection - 33,000 specimens from NM, AZ, CA, TX, AK, and South America.
Robert and Virginia Rausch collection - 4,000 specimens primarily from northern latitudes and vouchering
parasites housed in the MSB Division of Parasitology.
GROWTH - Over the past five years (2007-2011), our average increase in catalogued specimens was over
12,000 per year.
LOANS - From 2006-2010, 325 loans of 20,841 traditional voucher specimens or tissue samples were
provided to researchers worldwide.
PUBLICATIONS CITING MSB SPECIMENS - Approximately 280 peer reviewed publications and
dissertation/theses utilized MSB specimens over the past seven
years (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Citation lists).
VISITORS - From 2007-2011, over 200 researchers and 700 other visitors have spent time in the
EDUCATIONAL USE - Over 50 UNM courses have utilized the collections from 2007-2011.
Over 40 K-12 schools have visited the collections and received lectures or presentations
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