Malacology is the study of the group of animals called molluscs. Molluscs include chitons, clams, mussels, snails, nudibranchs (sea slugs), tusk shells, octopus and squid.

The Australian Museum Malacology collection is one of the world's largest of its kind, covering all groups of recent (up to 1.6 million year old) and tertiary (65-1.6 million year old) molluscs. Many of the specimens are dry shells, but there is also a large collection of preserved molluscs. The collections date from the 1860s and include marine, terrestrial and freshwater molluscs. They are predominantly from Australia and the south-west Pacific, but also include specimens from other parts of the world.

The Malacology type collection is extensive and includes a large number of primary types (types are the original specimens on which the first description of a particular species or subspecies is based).

The collection was established in 1860 and continues to the present.

Taxonomic range

Kingdoms covered include: Animalia.

Number of specimens in the collection

Click the Records & Statistics tab to access those database records that are available through the atlas.

Usage statistics

Metadata last updated on 2010-12-06 15:10:44.0


Graphic panel from the Uncovered: treasures of the Australian Museum exhibition representing the Malacology Collection.

Tiki Rand

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New South Wales 2010


Mandy Reid
Collection Manager
phone: (02) 9320 6412
email this contact


Member of Council of Heads of Australian Faunal Collections (CHAFC)

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Digitised records available through the Atlas

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