The Museum of Vertebrates is located in the Howell Hall Lab Annex Building, (rooms 165, 156, and wet lab). The Museum provides a source for teaching and learning about vertebrate organisms, especially those in central Oklahoma. It provides a catalogue for the identification of species in the region and makes this information available to students, researchers, and the general public.
With faculty licensed to collect, UCO is an official repository for salvaged vertebrate specimens. The only mastiff (bonnetted) bat collected in the state is housed in the mammal collection. The vertebrate museum currently includes 7,500 mammals, as well as numerous plaster casts and skeletons. The UCO Collection of Vertebrates Mammals section was officially accredited by the American Society of Mammalogists in 2014. Curator - Vicki Jackson, Ph.D.
The vertebrate museum currently includes 2, 400 bird skins as well as numerous skeletons and bird nests. In addition, 40,000 owl pellet specimens, collected over a 30-year period, were donated to UCO. They provide valuable mammal distribution data for both graduate and undergraduate student research. Curator - Vicki Jackson, Ph.D.
Reptiles and Amphibians
The vertebrate museum currently includes 2,200 reptile & amphibian specimens. The collection includes salvaged Sonoran mud turtles as well as Oklahoma turtles, like red-eared sliders and box turtles, from across the state. Curator - Paul Stone, Ph.D.
The fish collection is located in the Howell Hall LAB in the wet lab facility. In 2017, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board transferred a comprehensive Oklahoma fish collection comprised of over 1,000 fish to UCO for curation and preservation of specimens. The collection currently holds 1,275 specimens, primarily from Oklahoma. Curator - Paul Stone, Ph.D.
The UCO frozen tissue collection contains samples from several mammalian species collected in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Tissue samples include, but are not limited to: heart, kidney, liver, muscle, lung, and spleen. Samples from other vertebrate groups will be added as the collection grows. Tissue samples are collected as part of numerous genetic, evolutionary, and molecular ecology studies occurring at UCO. Curator - Michelle Haynie, Ph.D.
In 2011, the estate of Alexander and Ellen Nick donated an extensive taxidermy collection of over 125 full or partial mounts to the UCO NHM. Most of these are on display in the Howell Hall atrium, between Howell Hall and the Lab Annex, others are displayed in classrooms, the library, and Selman Living Lab. All species displayed in the atrium are listed in the guide.