Vertebrate Zoology in the CU Museum of Natural History is a biodiversity repository of more than 120,000 specimens from five taxa: Fishes, Amphibians and Reptiles (Herpetology), Birds, and Mammals. With the exception of birds, our collections are the largest collections of their kind in Colorado. Since our specimens document changes in biodiversity over the last 200 years, they are treasures of biological and historical significance. The collection of fishes is primarily preserved in fluid, with some osteological and dried specimens. It contains over 24,000 specimens in roughly 1,900 lots. The majority were collected in Colorado, although there is a worldwide representation of both marine and freshwater species. Many specimens were collected in the early 1900s by Max M. Ellis, including several hundred from Guyana
. The collection also includes about 2000 Salmonid specimens donated by Robert J. Behnke, Colorado State University Professor Emeritus and the author of Trout and Salmon of North America. Nearly 10% of our holdings are representatives of endangered and threatened species.