Section of Mammalogy

Section of Mammalogy is a separate museum unit since 1932. Its staff includes presently four specialists who study mammal taxonomy, phylogeny and morphology along with curation of respective collections. Dr. N.N. Spasskaya, the museum Secretary for Research, is also involved in the Section activities. Besides, there are several freelancers participating in curation of collections.

The main areas of research are phylogenetic taxonomy, faunistics, ecomorphology, and also geometric morphometry of several mammal taxa (mainly belonging to rodents, bats, insectivores, carnivores). Theoretical issues in phylogeny and systematics are also being developed.

The Section stores on a regular basis scientifically significant materials on Recent mammals, and provides a possibility to study them. The Section stores both dry and “wet” materials on mammals of the World, with Palaearctic taxa being most completely represented. Collection of Sections, by its volume and composition, is the largest in Russia and is among the top dozen of such collections over the World.

Collection of the Sections consists mainly of dry skulls and skins (about 191,900 specimens.), and “wet” collection includes about 30,000 specimens. Postcranial skeletons of mammals (about 8,000 specimens) are registered in the documentation of the Sections, but are actually kept in the Section of Evolutionary Morphology.

Number of nomenclatorial types: taxa/specimens 342/603. Number of entries in electronic databases 26,100.

Principal forms of storage of information on the collection were previously “hardware” inventory books and catalogues, while the electronic database became the principal form since 1998.

The Section lodgments are located on the second  floor of the museum building on both sides of the upper landing of its main staircase. The room n. 30 includes main office, it is also a place for the “hardware” catalogues and for visiting specialists. The main collections are stored in the rooms ns. 31-40.