Over 1 million specimens are now accessible from our biodiversity collection online for free. All you need is your device and a little bit of inspiration to explore Queensland’s cultural and natural heritage.
Explore Queensland Museum Network’s extensive collection of mammals and birds and discover our research in mammalogy and ornithology.
The mammals and bird collections at Queensland Museum are a critical resource for understanding and conserving some of Australia’s most high profile and threatened animals.
Mammalogy is the scientific study of mammals. Australia is unique in being the only continent where all three major groups of mammal occur, specifically monotremes, marsupials and placentals.
Ornithology is the scientific study of birds. Nearly 900 species of bird have been recorded in Australia. These range in size from giant flightless Emus to tiny colourful fairy wrens. Australia has a particularly diverse assemblages of parrots and honeyeaters, and is also now famous the source area for the world’s most diverse and successful group of birds – the Passerines.
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The mammal and bird collections together comprises over 50,000 specimens including skeletons, skins and ethanol preserved bodies. The collection includes several species or populations that are very rare or extinct. Prominent examples include the Mt Lewis populations of the Lemuroid Ringtail Possum, Coxen’s Fig Parrot, Paradise Parrot, Burrowing Bettongs and perhaps most famously, the Night Parrot.
The mammal and bird collection is used by dozens of researchers and artists each year. This work serves to continually improve our understanding of diversity, evolution, ecology and conservation of Queensland’s animals, and increasingly takes advantage of exciting modern techniques such as ancient DNA and genomics, CT- and surface-scanning and even radio-isotopic analyses of diet.
Origin and evolution of Australasian birds
Diversity, ecology and conservation of Australian Mammals