Mammals collection tray with preserved bats in rows and small glass tubes with bat skeletal material

Mammalogy Collections

The KU Mammals collection ranks among the largest in the world. It is the second largest university-based research collection, with >180,000 cataloged specimens, and growing.

Collection Search

The KU Mammalogy Collection has taxonomic strengths in bats, rodents, and insectivores (shrews and moles) and geographic strengths in Latin America, the Indo-Pacific, and the American West. Most of the collection is historical and consists of prepared study skins, skulls, and complete skeletons; with recent specimens (2000 and later) accompanied by genetic resources (tissues). Research collections and associated metadata are searchable through the Specify Mammals database and VertNet, and are available for loan by the scientific community.

Type Specimens

There are 135 type specimens in the collection. Of these, the largest number (97) are rodents. There are also 6 insectivore, 25 bat, 5 lagomorph, and 2 carnivore holotypes. Types have been described from Barbados, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (14 states), Mozambique, Nicaragua, Philippines, Venezuela, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and from 12 states in the U.S.

Taxonomic breadth

There is broad taxonomic coverage, including important holdings of Central and South American marsupials, insectivores, bats, and rodents; Holarctic shrews, microtines, and squirrels; and North American bats, insectivores, carnivores, rodents, and lagomorphs.

Loan Requests

The Division of Mammalogy loans skins, skeletons, fluid-preserved specimens, and frozen tissues to legitimate users from the national and international scientific community. Specimens may be used for research, exhibit, or educational purposes. No material may be used for commercial or financial gain. Type specimens are not loaned.

Please download and return the KU Mammals Loan Request Form (PDF). For questions, contact Curator, Jocelyn Colella at or Collection Manager, Dianna Krejsa at

Loan requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis under the conditions outlined on the loan request form. Loan approval depends on the scientific value of the project, project feasibility, investigator qualifications, evidence of sufficient lab facilities and resources, appropriateness of requested specimens for the investigation, approval of original collector (if required), amount of sample or tissue needed, and resource availability.

Other Resources

Kansas Mammal Atlas is a website hosted by the Sternberg Museum at Fort Hayes State University and includes a wealth of information on native species distributions, ecology, measurements, and conservation status of Kansas Mammals.

Tissue and Destructive Sampling Policy

Requests for destructive sampling of specimens or use of tissues will be evaluated and approved based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific value the project
  • Feasibility of the project
  • Qualifications of the investigator(s)
  • Evidence of sufficient lab facilities and resources
  • Appropriateness of requested specimens for the study
  • Approval of original collector (if needed)
  • Amount of sampling or tissue needed
  • Reasons why samples could not be obtained from the field or other institutions which may have superior holdings

View full sampling policy