Our biological sciences collections encompass a diverse range of fauna, from parasites to whales. Over three million animal specimens have been collected in the last 150 years through systematic surveys and collecting trips, donations and acquisitions.
In more recent years these collections have been augmented by what is now the largest tissue collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian Biological Tissue Collection (ABTC). Access to material from the ABTC is managed through the ABTC Grant Policy
Our collections focus on South Australia and serve as our library of life. They allow us to examine the diversity and distribution of South Australian fauna and the changes in their circumstances over time.
A number of these collections can now be accessed online. If you would like to find out more about our collections you can access the Atlas of Living Australia here.
All animals collected by scientists for the Museum are collected under scientific collecting permits.
Reptiles and amphibians
Spiders, scorpions & ticks
Marine life beneath Edithburgh jetty, South Australia: Fan worm (Sabellastarte australiensis) on jetty pile with Porcupine fish (Diodon nicthemerus).
A drawer of bird eggs in the Birds Collection in the Museum's Science Centre where many of our scientists work.
Fish Collection Manager, Ralph Foster, retrieving a billfish specimen preserved in a tank containing ethanol.