The zoology collection numbers around 1.2 million specimens. These are split between Invertebrate Zoology (insects, arachnids, shells and others) and Vertebrate Zoology (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish).
The vertebrate collections include approximately 79,000 specimens and are rich in specimens over a hundred years old. However, significant early invertebrate holdings were largely destroyed in May 1941 during the blitz. The subsequent proactive acquisition of specimens has allowed the museum to assemble a nationally important, relatively modern collection of around 1.1 million insects and other invertebrates. The vertebrate collections have also expanded in modern times.