Discover what 160 species of marine and freshwater fishes tell us about the creative power of nature: the wels catfish (48 kg) from river Nemunas, sea horses and pipefishes, little sharks and freshwater species that breed in the sea; examine the sucker-like mouth of the lamprey and the smile of the northern pike. The main collector and curator of this collection is E. Bukelskis.
Amphibians and Reptiles
The collection of amphibians and reptiles reflect the colorfulness of the local fauna and acquaint us a number of species from the entire world. More abundant are reptiles from the Middle Asia, but the most amazing stories lie under some specimens. For example, E. Eichwald bought a crocodile scull from the Memphis pyramid. L. H. Bojanus here produced the famous work on the anatomy of turtles “Anatome Testudinis Europaeae”.
It is one of the most famous exhibits in Baltic countries. The main collection was given as a gift by count R. Tyzenhauz in 1855. His father, count K. Tyzenhauz, was a famous European ornithologist of 19th century who collected 1093 specimens of birds as well as eggs and nests of 252 species. Ceylon and Middle Asian birds were acquired from the Szelow family and some African birds were collected during an expedition by A. Ossendowski. The majority of birds are included in the International Red Book and are listed in the Annexes of the CITES, Biodiversity Conventions, etc.
The collection consists of stuffed animals, their sculls, bones and antlers. Some specimens have great historical value, for example wisent (Bison bonasus), which was hunted by K. Brunner in 1820 with a permission by the Emperor of Russia Aleksander II. Bones and antlers collection was supplemented by A. Mačionis, E. Bukelskis and other scientists. The great collection of 100 mammals represent the art of taxidermy by K. Bybartas and was donated by G.Vaitiekūnas in 2017.
L.H. Bojanus proved that both the wisent and the aurochs lived in Europe. These and other fossils can be found in the VU Museum of Zoology.