Mammal collection

Mammal collection

This collection is comprised of study skins, mammal osteology, mounted mammals and spirit collections.

Part of the zoology collection 

Study skins

The mammal skins total about 1,250 and are particularly rich in specimens of Australian and African species. The collection includes many mammal specimens which once were living in the 13th Earl of Derby's Menagerie at Knowsley Hall. Many of our mammal specimens are types, such as the holotype of Lord Derby's Opossum from Central America or are from rare or extinct species such as the Australian Long-tailed Hopping-mouse.

Mammal osteology

The osteological mammal specimens include material from many extinct species such as the Falkland Islands Warrah (Wolf) and the Australian Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger).

The collection also includes the mounted skeleton of Ambush II, who in 1900 was the last Royal horse to win the Grand National. He was owned by HRH The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. Ambush is currently on display in the Museum of Liverpool.

Mounted mammals

The museum houses nearly 300 mounted mammals, including complete mounts, game heads and mounted skulls, horns and antlers. These include a Lord Derby's Eland, named after our founder, the 13th Earl of Derby. This is the largest antelope species and our specimen is nearly two metres high at the shoulder. It is currently on display in the Museum of Liverpool. We also have a few mounted mammals from Lord Derby's Aviary and Menagerie at Knowsley, including three Australian Echidnas who lived there in the 1840s. These are primitive egg-laying mammals.

The mounted collection is extensively used by other museums and galleries for exhibition, and by students in both the sciences and humanities.

Spirit collections

The bulk of our spirit-preserved mammal collection comprise over 4,000 British bats, resulting from annual donations of specimens from all over the UK which had been found dead or moribund, and tested for rabies by DEFRA. The specimens represent important distributional voucher records for these animals.