Collections

Fall in love with the diversity of life as you explore over 500 natural history exhibits, showcasing myriad fossils, shells, insects, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants from around British Columbia and the world.

Our specimens are organized in six collections. These collections are the centrepiece of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and were each started by a different collector, some as early as the 1910s. Over the decades, the collections were added to by myriad researchers, and grew to contain over two million specimens. In 2001, researchers at the Biodiversity Research Centre and within the departments of Botany and Zoology envisioned a building that would facilitate interdisciplinary work on biodiversity, house UBC’s biodiversity researchers and collections, and contain a public natural history museum.

Cowan Tetrapod Collection

Tetrapods are vertebrate animals that have, or possess ancestors that had, four limbs.

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Marine Invertebrate Collection

These include the entire evolutionary tree of animals, except for land-dwelling arthropods, and animals with backbones.

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Herbarium

A herbarium is a taxonomically and geographically organized collection of preserved plants, algae, lichens, and fungi.

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Spencer Entomological Collection

Entomology is the study of insects. This can also include arachnids and other terrestrial invertebrates.

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Fish Collection

Fishes are animals that live in water, respire through gills, and have skeletons made of bone or cartilage.

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Fossil Collection

Fossils are traces of organisms preserved in rocks and minerals.

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Search the Collections

Please see below for links to, and instructions on using, each Collection’s database.

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Loan Policies

We encourage researchers to visit the museum when possible; our curators are willing to facilitate access to research specimens.

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