What kinds of Collections are there?

Monarch butterfly on Dense blazing starBotany is the study of plants.

Entomology is the study of insects.

American Toad: Bufo AmericanusHerpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles.

Ichthyology is the study of fish.

Invertebrate Paleontology is the study of fossil invertebrates.

Invertebrate Zoology is the study of invertebrates, in the non-insect groups.

Caribou: Rangifer TarandusMammalogy is the study of mammals.

Paleobotany is the study of fossil plants.

Barn Swallow: Hirundo rusticaOrnithology is the study of birds.

...and many more than are possible to name here...

What are Collections?

Collections are the assemblages of organisms, both living and dead, that are organized and curated by scientists to provide the formal documentation of the world's known biodiversity.

They include museums, zoos, arboreta, botanical gardens and private and public research collections used by scientists to more fully understand and document the variability of the earth's biodiversity.

Many museums focus on one specific scientific study, while others have collections that overlap multiple disciplines.

Why the term 'natural history' ?

Natural history museums are interested in the study and description of organisms and natural objects, especially their origins, evolution, and interrelationships, which is why many collections have a wide range of objects--from fossilized plant specimens to extinct animal bones.

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