Department of Herpetology
This department’s research collection comprises roughly 65,000 amphibians and reptiles. Several specimens date from as far back as 1825. Many found their way here via merchants, or derive from other collections (for example, the Museum Godeffroy in Hamburg, 1861–85) and research expeditions. As a result the valuable and often historically significant collections represent many diverse regions (Europe, Australia, South America, Asia, and Southeast Asia). One of the Department’s key research areas is amphibian biodiversity in Southeast Asia. The rich diversity of frog species in the tropics has long been underestimated. On its expeditions the Department has tracked down new species, at the same time discovering and describing the corresponding tadpole types. A further key research area is the history of the evolution and distribution of amphibians and reptiles.