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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
Gorilla beringei
Gorilla beringei (Mountain Gorilla). K. M. Helgen. © Smithsonian Institution.

The Division of Mammals houses a world-class collection of roughly 590,000 preserved specimens. This collection supports a wide range of scientific research by resident staff and associates, as well as numerous visiting scientists. Divisional collection management staff preserve, conserve, and document our specimens to ensure their accessiblity to present and future research activities.

Our mammal specimens have also played an integral role in such NMNH exhibitions as The Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals and the African Elephant in our museum's rotunda. We also support public education by maintaining several databases relevant to mammals.

Olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) ― photo credit: Mark Gurney

New Species of Carnivore Discovered!

The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. It is also the smallest member of the of the raccoon family.

Featured Online Lecture

Marine Mammal Responses to Simulated Military Sonar: Southern California Behavioral Response Study - a lecture presented by Dr. Brandon Southall (SEA, Inc. and UC Santa Cruz) at the National Museum of Natural History on March 12, 2013.