Collection of Mammals

Hispid Pocket Mouse, Chaetodipus hispidus

Currently, the mammal collection houses over 64,000 specimens of mammals . Specimens from the original US Biological Survey made up the original set of specimens for the mammal collection. With Davis as the Department Head and Chief Curator, the collection quickly grew to include specimens from his many field trips to Mexico. Geographically, the collection focuses on material from the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America. The majority of these specimens consist of skins and skeletal material prepared by standard museum procedures. Most of these specimens are represented as skins with skulls or as skeletons only; however, approximately 15 years ago, researchers affiliated with this collection began preparing many of their specimens as skins with skulls plus post-cranial material.

Bat-eared Fox, Otocyon megalotis

Bat-eared Fox, Otocyon megalotis

The Collection of Mammals also contains 284 pelts, 12,000 whole specimens preserved in alcohol, and 1,410 phalli or bacula. Twenty-two of the 26 currently recognized orders of mammals and all of the 13 orders considered to occur in North America are represented in this collection. The largest holdings (>40% each) are for the orders Rodentia and Chiroptera. The Collection of Mammals contains specimens of 1,002 different species, from 418 genera, and 93 families. This collection holds 39 holotypes (8 species, 31 subspecies) and 556 paratypes from 40 taxa. Most material was collected within the last 55 years but some specimens date back to the early 1900s. The Collection of Mammals contains representatives of 20 species listed as “Endangered” and seven species listed as “Threatened” by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Representatives of 28 of the 47 species considered to be “Of Interest” by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are maintained in this collection.

Tamandua, Tamandua tetradactyla

The Collection of Mammals continues to grow through recent agreements with the National Parks System, which designates the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections as the official repository for vertebrate specimens from Big Thicket National Preserve, Padre Island National Seashore, and San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Specimen records from the collection may be accessed via the VertNet site here and are also available through the MaNIS site. Our loan policy is available here.

The Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections is willing and able to care for all types of collections. If you collect specimens as part of your research and cannot or do not wish to adequately care for them in the long term, please consider us as a repository. We gratefully accepts the deposit of such specimens provided they are accompanied by proper documentation and permits (USDA, USFWS, CITES, STATE).

Recent Publications

Castellanos, A.A.*, M.C.I. Medeiros, G.L. Hamer, M.E. Morrow, M.D. Eubanks, P.D. Teel, S.A. Hamer, and J.E. Light. 2016.  Decreased small mammal and tick abundance in association with invasive red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). Biology Letters 12: DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0463.

Light, J.E.*, M.O. Ostroff**, and D.J. Hafner. 2016. Phylogeographic assessment of the northern pygmy mouse, Baiomys taylori. Journal of Mammalogy. 97: 1081-1094.

Rodriguez, J.R.*, S.A. Hamer, A.A. Castellanos*, and *J.E. Light*. 2015. Structure and ecology of a rodent and tick community in east-central Texas. Southeastern Naturalist. 14: 415-424.

Andersen, J.J.** and *J.E. Light*. 2012. Phylogeography and subspecies revision of the hispid pocket mouse, Chaetodipus hispidus (Rodentia: Heteromyidae). Journal of Mammalogy. 93: 1195-1215.

J.J. Andersen, D.S. Portnoy, J.C. Hafner, and J.E. Light.  Populations at risk: conservation genetics of kangaroo mice of the Great Basin Desert. Ecology and Evolution 3:2497-2513.

J.E. Light, J.C. Hafner, N.S. Upham, and E. Reddington. Conservation genetics of kangaroo mice, genus MicrodipodopsJournal of Mammalian Evolution 20: 129-146.

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