Stuffed Mammal Skins collection

Curator: Igor Fadeev.

The collection maintains 2 654 specimens, including the skins of small and medium-sized mammals stuffed with cotton or other soft material (from the smallest species to the groundhog and raccoon).


The first stuffed skins of mammals were bought by Alexander Kohts, along with many other exhibits from a number of well-known European companies in 1913. Most of these skins were later used to make taxidermied animals between 1914 and 1953. Among the specimens that remained in the original form, there are three notable skins of Australian short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) purchased from the London trading company of Rosenberg, as well as individual specimens collected by well-known professional collectors of that time - A. Everett, S. Underwood, M. Palmer.


In 1920, the Museum bought a private zoological collection of V.N. Nikitin gathered in 1912 during a trip to German East Africa, including two stuffed skins  of the Gambian pouched rat (Cricetomus gambianus). Between 1930 to 1950, the Museum collection was replenished by over 500 specimens collected in the Caucasus, Saratov Region, Siberia), Central Russia, Central Asia.


The main and the most valuable part of the stuffed skins collection is the private collection of the famous mammalogist and zoologist, Professor Alexander Kuzyakin. It contains all species of Chiroptera, Eulipotyphla, and Rodentia of the former USSR territory, as well as some specimens of the faunas of China and the United States. Material from the United States, among which are quite old specimens dating back to 1891 - 1923, was obtained through scientific exchange with the American colleagues - mammalogists.

Specimens from this collection are distinguished by the excellent quality of specimen preparation and scientific labels, as well as the accuracy of definition. The collection comprises the material of such rare species as the desert long-eared bat, the European free-tailed bat, the Hilgendorf's tube-nosed bat, piebald shrew, the large-eared vole and the Gobi Altai mountain vole, the Schelkovnikov's pine vole, the Transcaspian vole, the Daghestan pine vole, the snow vole, the Roborovski hamster, and the desert dormouse. The fauna of the Caucasus, the Far East, and the Moscow Region has the best representation in the collection. Very valuable material is from China (125 copies), as it is poorly represented in collections around the world.


A significant number of specimens of the collection were used by animal artists N.N. Kondakov and O.F. Khludova to illustrate “The Catalogue of Mammals of the USSR” (N. A. Bobrinsky, B. A. Kuznetsov, A. P. Kuzyakin, 1965). The collection has great scientific value and is often used for reference by mammalogists from various scientific institutions of Russia.


Today, the collection is replenished by occasional collections by museum employees in Russia.

The stuffed skins of bats – the desert long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichi Peters) on the left and the European free-tailed bat (Tadarida teniotis Rafinesque) on the right.

The stuffed skins of the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus Pallas) and Roborovski hamster (Phodopus roborovskii Satunin).


A collection box with stuffed skins of Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus Pallas) and Roborovski hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii Satunin).