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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
Marmosops ocellatus
Marmosops ocellatus (Spectacled Slender Opossum), Bolivia. L. H. Emmons. © Smithsonian Institution.


The Division of Mammals is in the midst of a staff transition. Several long-time staff have recently retired, and it may be many months before we will be able to replace some of them. In the meantime, please understand that we may need additional time to respond to visitor requests and loans in particular. We will continue to serve the scientific community as best as we can under these circumstances.


Frozen Tissues

The National Museum holds a wealth of genetic resources collected specifically for analysis. These have been variously preserved in ethanol, buffers, or frozen whole. Regardless of past preservation, all tissues are now stored in freezers at -80 degrees C, and will soon be transferred to liquid nitrogen dewers in a centralized tissue storage facility. These tissues have been collected to be subsampled and consumed.

Requests for Loans

To request frozen tissues, please check our online database for available tissues and submit a completed Tissue Request Form via email to mammalloans[at]

Please review details of our Tissue and Destructive Sampling Policy before submitting your request form.


Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics (CCEG)

  • Division of Mammals researchers work closely with Jesús Maldonado and other staff of the CCEG at the National Zoological Park on a variety of projects utlilizing genetic resources samples.

Global Genome Initiative (GGI)

  • GGI in an important Smithsonian program that documents and preserves genomic biodiversity. It provides valuable resources for the continued growth of our genetic resources collection.

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