Marine vertebrates



Comprehensive holdings comprising approximately 2,200 species of identified bony and cartilaginous fish, mostly from Cape waters, but extending to Angola and Moçambique and the Southern, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

J.D.F. Gilchrist, who can be regarded as the father of South African ichthyology, at one stage worked at the South African Museum. K.H. Barnard correlated all the information that had been published about South African fishes and later published two volumes of The Marine Fishes of South Africa.

Mesopelagic Fish Collection

This comprehensive collection was assembled primarily by Dr P.A. Hulley as a result of German, French and South African collaboration and includes a significant Myctophid collection, which is one of the best in the world.

Prince Edward Islands Collection

This developing collection arises from Southern Ocean fisheries research and the activities of commercial companies.

Melville Ridge Collection

This collection was made during Marine and Coastal Management research cruises over the Melville Ridge south west of Madagascar.

Fish Osteology Collection

There is a small collection of comparative fish skeletal specimens.

Cartilaginous Fish Collection


This collection has global holdings. It includes numerous representatives of eight of the shark groups, most representatives of the Batoids and Chimaeras, including rare species. Significant material is being acquired from, fisheries research and tooth fish long-lining and fishing company by-catches.

Cartilaginous Fish Skeletal Element Collection

This is the best there is in the world and includes a wide range of wet and dry material and a sub-collection of denticles.