Osteology collection

Curator: Dmitry Miloserdov

The collection holds 2 137 specimens - skeletons and skulls of mammals, as well as representatives of other classes of vertebrates. Skulls are the most numerous, representing various mammals of almost all orders. The collection also contains full skeletons and their fragments, and individual bones.

Some of the remarkable specimens are the skulls and skeletons of exotic mammals, skulls of representatives of the pig family, such as Buru babirusa and common warthog, along with skeletons and skulls of primates, including apes, and full skeletons of narwhal and manatee. The skulls of the hippo, Indian elephant, dugong, African black rhinoceros and Indian rhinoceros are worth mentioning.


Of particular interest is the collection of the horns of Ungulates (499 specimens, including over 50 specimens with abnormalities). There are some valuable specimens, such as the horns of African even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla), as well as horn materials of European and American bisons.

Of historical interest is a series of horns - trophies of the Russian imperial hunts – European bison, moose, red deer, roe deer, caught in the early twentieth century in Białowieża Forest by the emperor Nicholas II of Russia and members of the royal court.

In 1997, Osteology collection was replenished with an extensive selection of tusks of African elephants confiscated by the Sheremetyevo airport customs and transferred for permanent storage to the Darwin Museum.


Some of the outstanding specimens are the full skeletons of hummingbirds, flamingos and some species of the Casuariiformes order, as well as the skeleton of the dodo from the island of Mauritius.

Skulls of bears. The skull of the polar bear on the left (Ursus maritimus hipps), of the brown bear on the right (Ursus arctos L.).

The European Bison horns (Bison bonasus L.). The trophy of the Russian imperial hunt. Obtained by Emperor Nicholas II in Białowieża Forest on September 2, 1897 (according to the Julian Calendar).