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Special Specimen Collections

The majority of the Museum's specimens are housed in the alcoholic collection; however, there are separate specialized collections and/or preparations.

Type Collection                                                                                                                                

The type collection contains about 744 published primary types (holotypes, syntypes, cotypes, lectotypes, and neotypes). Paratypes are housed with non-type specimens.

Maximilian Collection                                                                                                                     

These are some of the oldest specimens of amphibians and reptiles housed in the AMNH collection, having been purchased in 1870 by the AMNH from the estate of Prince Maximilian von Wied-Neuwied.

Larval Collection                                                                                                                         

Anuran larvae are cataloged as lots and predominately stored in formalin. Approximately 18 percent of all anuran species are represented.

Skeleton and Cleared & Stained Collections                                                                            

Approximately 30% of all species in the alcoholic collection are also represented by one or more kinds of skeletal preparations.

Hemipenes Collection                                                                                                                   

A synoptic collection consisting of copulatory organs from approximately 630 specimens of reptiles; primarily snake hemipenes.

Maxilla Collection                                                                                                                            

This is a synoptic collection consisting of maxilla from approximately 300 specimens of reptiles, primarily snakes.

Anatomical Collection                                                                                                            

Uncataloged amphibians and reptiles, usually with nonspecific locality data; available for informal examination and/or dissections.

Chromosome, Histological and SEM Preparations                                                                                  

A 1983 survey of the collection showed roughly 6,500 slides of chromosomes from 2,500 specimens of 259 species, representing 33 families of amphibians and reptiles. In addition various histological and SEM preparations are also housed here.

Tissue Collection                                                                                                                  

This contains approximately 6500 samples largely derived from vouchered specimens; stored in the Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection.

American Museum of Natural History

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