Collections

Pine Marten

The Vertebrate Collection has its origins in the Cardiff City Museum which was based in the old Central Library. We still have about 200 of these specimens, mainly mounted birds and skeletal specimens, the earliest dating back to 1882.

Over the last 80 years the Collection has been built up by the acquisition of many small collections and a large number of individual donations. It is still relatively small and holds approximately 12,000 cabinet skins, 8,000 glass negatives, 7,500 clutches of bird eggs, 4,000 skeletal preparations and 1,800 mounted specimens.

Of particular note are 10 complete specimens of extinct animals; Great Auk alca impennis (and egg), Passenger Pigeon Ectopistes migratoria (2, a mount and a skeleton), Dodo Raphus cucculatus (skeleton), Huia Heteralocha acutirostris (2 mounts, 2 skins), Thylacine Thylacinus cynocephalus (mount) and a semi-fossilised egg of an Elephant Bird Aepyornis maximus. And although incomplete we have the leg bone from an unidentified species of Moa.

Platypus

There are about 90 figured or cited specimens in the collection, these are mainly species of bird and fish which are rarely found in the British Isles and any occurrence of which is reported in a variety of journals. We also have several specimens that received widespread coverage in local papers such as; the skeleton of 'Billy' the seal, Red Deer antlers and several albino or leucistic birds.

There are two searchable databases available on-line, one details the bird skin collection and the other the museum's collection of mounted animals.

  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.