amphibians & reptiles
(hall 27 - 28)

In the exhibition rooms for amphibians and reptiles (herpetology collection) there are about 930 specimens preserved in alcohol and 130 taxidermy and skeletal specimens on display. This is less than 0.5% of the entire scientific collection, which consists of more than 200,000 objects.

The collection
According to current scientific knowledge, there are about 7,500 species of amphibians (Anura, Urodela, Gymnophiona). With about 10,100 known species, reptiles (crocodiles, lizards, snakes, turtles, and tuatara) form a somewhat larger group. Together the two groups make up the topic of the herpetological collection. Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles, using methods relating to morphology, embryology, physiology, ecology, systematics, taxonomy, molecular biology, chorology, and ethology. At present, the scientific herpetological collection includes about 200,000 specimens, the majority have been preserved in alcohol. A smaller portion is preserved as dry preparations (skeletons, skins, dermoplastics). The beginnings of the collection – and thus the oldest specimens - date back to around 1800.

At the core of the scientific collection one finds the type specimens, currently including types of about 210 taxa of amphibians and 570 reptile taxa. Type specimens and dry preparations have been published in the form of catalogues. Apart from the collection database used to manage the scientific inventory, the collection runs a database on the geographic distribution of autochthonous amphibians and reptiles. This herpeto-faunistic database includes more than 114,000 species sightings, recording not only the place, date, and time of the sighting, but also a great deal of relevant environmental data.

Hall 27
Hall 28