Ichthyology – Fish

Pisces (Fish) are a taxonomically very diverse group of primarily aquatic vertebrates. The ichtyological collection comprises approximately 133,490 items pertaining to species , including

  • 1,100 Fish skeletons
  • 1,750 dry preparations and fish skins
  • 130,640 fish preserved in alcohol

The oldest parts of the collection, which are also the most valuable in terms of history of science, are the fish collections of M. E. Bloch und P. S. Pallas. Both collections date back to the late 18th century.

The Bloch Collection
The Bloch Collection comprised in its heyday approximately 1,500 specimens, which provided the basis for many species descriptions. Although the Museum went through difficult times, the major part of the collection has survived and remains an important reference collection for taxonomy, which is frequently used.

Type Specimens
The type specimens relating to 1,700 species descriptions are of particular scientific importance. The collection contains type specimens relating to the works of Cuvier and Valenciennes as well as expeditions by Hemprich, Ehrenberg and W.C.H. Peters. There is also material from comparative anatomical studies by Johannes Müller from the middle of the 19th century.

Furthermore, the collection houses numerous specimens from significant marine biological expeditions, such as Stuhlmann’s travels to East Africa, the German “Valdivia” expedition and the German South Polar Expedition. More recent collections originate, amongst others, from the former Institut für Hochseefischerei (Institute for High Sea Fishery) of the GDR in Rostock.
Because the alcohol collection will be moved to the East Wing, scientific use will be limited until approximately October 2010.

Last update: 27.02.2012