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Primary strengths of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology include large holdings of Western Atlantic invertebrates — deepwater forms, corals and other reef-dwelling animals from tropical localities, Bermuda invertebrates, and a worldwide collection of sponges — represented not only by recently acquired specimens, but also by a strong historical component dating to the late 1800s. The entire holdings of the Invertebrate Zoology Division approach 300,000 lots, representing approximately 3 million individuals, thousands of which are the type specimens of species new to science.

Two notable mergers have greatly contributed to the significance and size of the invertebrate holdings:

  • In 1959 the Bingham Oceanographic Collection, at Yale since 1927, was incorporated into the Division’s collections. Along with the many new species of fish described from its Caribbean material were various invertebrates (among them peneid shrimp, flatworms, vampyromorph cephalopods, and octopods).
  • In 1994 the holdings of the George M. Gray Museum, formerly part of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Wood’s Hole, Massachusetts, were incorporated within the Division. This collection of approximately 20,000 lots represents at least 150,000 specimens, primarily the result of faunal and ecological surveys of the Woods Hole region by the MBL’s Systematics Ecology Program in the 1960s,

The Yale Peabody Museum’s collections are available to legitimate researchers for scholarly use. Loans are issued to responsible individuals at established institutions. Loans and access to the collection can be arranged through the Collections Manager.

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