Glasgow Museums has an extensive and internationally significant natural history collection. It comprises over 585,000 specimens, which date from about 2,800 million years ago in the Precambrian to the present. This collection is one of the largest owned by a local authority in the UK. It includes specimens that range from tiny insects to large mammals, and which come from all over the world. Many parts of the collection have a strong emphasis on the British Isles and Scotland in particular. The collection is divided into three categories. Geology comprises fossils, minerals and rocks. Botany covers the major plant and fungi kingdoms – algae, flowering plants and ferns, mosses and liverworts, and fungi. Zoology contains vertebrates – fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals – and invertebrates, including arthropods, molluscs, echinoderms, corals and other smaller groups. The collection notably has many unique and unusual specimens, including more than 1,500 type, figured and cited specimens, which are invaluable for taxonomic research.
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