Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone and includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Many of these animals are on display in Amgueddfa Cymru’s galleries, including the largest specimen of Leatherback Turtle ever recorded in the world, and the skeleton of a Humpback Whale.


  • The Vertebrate collection is relatively small consisting of mounted animals, skeletons, study skins, bird eggs and also a collection of fish in spirit.
  • We have 1,800 taxidermy mounts of mainly birds and mammals; a small number of plaster casts of fish and reptiles; and a variety of animal parts including baleen, horn and sawfish saws.
  • The skeletal collections are wide-ranging with representatives from a diverse range of animal groups, from many parts of the world.
  • The bird study skins contain representatives from 75% of the world’s bird families; a further 1,100 study skins of British mammals are mainly Welsh in origin.


  • We have 10 complete specimens of extinct animals including the Great Auk, Passenger Pigeon, Dodo, Huia, Thylacine, a semi-fossilised Elephant Bird egg and a leg bone of unidentified Moa.
  • There are 90 figured or cited specimens, mostly recordings of bird and fish species rare to the UK.
  • We hold a range of cased bird mounts collected at the end of the 19th Century. These include species which either no longer breed in Wales or are very rare visitors.
  • The Noddle collection of domestic animal bones and skulls represents many rare breeds of sheep and cattle. The collection is commonly used for zoo-archaeological comparisons and studies looking at domesticated animals.
  • Vertebrates

    Jennifer Gallichan

    Curator: Vertebrates
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