The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' Mammal Unit collection contains approximately 20,000 specimens and is one of the largest regional mammal collections in the southeast. The collection was accredited in 2000 by the American Society of Mammalogists. With early acquisitions from the Brimley brothers in the late 1800’s, the collection consists of 42% North Carolina, 81% Southeastern United States
, 96% United States
material, with the remainder having North American or other international origin. It encompasses the taxonomic units of 20 orders, 73 families, 237 genera, and over 500 unique Genus-species combinations. Holdings are especially strong in Rodentia, Soricimorpha, Chiroptera, Carnivora, Cetacea and Sirenia. Important recent acquisitions include University of Kentucky, George Mason University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and personal collections. The collection includes study skins, tanned hides, skulls, complete skeletons, fluid-preserved material, tissues for molecular analyses, and other materials.