Guide to collections

Natural Science Museum of Barcelona - Chordates Department

Name Natural Science Museum of Barcelona
Subunits name Chordates Department
Acronym(s) MCNB-MZB-COR
Institution type Museum
Description The phylum Chordata includes all animals that have a hollow neural cord running along their dorsal side at some stage in their life cycle. In many chordates, this cord is protected by a bony spine, or vertebral column. Chordates thus include vertebrates, along with several groups of marine animals that have a neural cord.

The Museum's chordate collection contains over 34,000 specimens. Fewer than 2% are on display. The largest specimen is the mounted common rorqual skeleton hanging in the Museu Blau entrance hall, while the smallest is most probably a specimen from the group of frogs or shrews.

The Museums oldest specimens date back to the time when the Martorell Museum was founded. While the Natural Sciences Board was active (1893-1940), the Museum received many donations, and it also made purchases and actively collected specimens, creating a rich collection of chordates. In recent decades, new arrivals have come from collections compiled by naturalists and also from donations from the Fauna Recovery Centres of Catalonia and the Zoological Park of Barcelona. We also receive donations from private individuals, teaching centres, and other museums. The growth policy for the collection is to build up complete series of materials for each species of native fauna. The selection criteria for specimens definitely entering the collection are, firstly, the adequacy of documentation that accompanies them and, secondly, their state of conservation.

The chordate collection is used by Spanish and foreign researchers for scientific study in fields of biology, paleontology and medicine. Some of the specimens are on display at the Museum and others have been loaned to other natural sciences museums. They are also used for educational purposes conducted on the premises and in other centres.
Address Pg. Picasso, s/n
Postal code 08003
City Barcelona
State/region Catalunya
Country Spain
Telephone +34 93 256 22 22
Fax +34 93 310 49 99
Parent Institution Natural Science Museum of Barcelona
Collections Amphibia collection
Associated person Javier Quesada (Curator)