Museum Victoria mammalogy specimens from Victoria: Balaenoptera musculus, Blue Whale

Rodney Start

Museums Victoria

Museums Victoria
Carlton, Australia

Balaenoptera musculus, Pygmy Blue Whale skeleton mounted in the galleria at Melbourne Museum. NMV C 28663.

The Museum Victoria vertebrate zoology collections cover mammalogy, herpetology, ornithology and ichthyology. Specimens include dried study skins, skulls and skeletal material, articulated skeletal material, fluid specimens (containing whole animals, carcasses, internal organs and other parts), mounted skins.

The vertebrate zoology collections were established by the Museum's first director, Sir Frederick McCoy, through collection, purchase and exchange. One of the most notable of these purchases was from John Gould, including material from his expedition to Australia in 1838-40. McCoy also secured specimens collected by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. The early development of the collection was also notable for collections by Wilhelm Blandowski, the first appointed state Zoologist, especially his expedition to the confluence of the Murray and Darling Rivers in 1857. The collection continues to grow today. Recently cryogenic storage facilities have allowed the collection and storage of tissue samples in addition to the other forms of specimens previously collected.


  • Title: Museum Victoria mammalogy specimens from Victoria: Balaenoptera musculus, Blue Whale
  • Creator: Rodney Start
  • Location: Australia, Victoria, Beach at Cathedral Rock, 5 km northeast of Lorne
  • Location Created: Melbourne Museum
  • Original Language: English
  • Subject Keywords: specimens, marine, mammals, whales, cetaceans
  • Publisher: Museum Victoria
  • Rights: Copyright Museum Victoria / CC BY
  • External Link: See this specimen in Museum Victoria Collections

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