The subject of activities carried out by the Vertebrate Department are all groups of vertebrates, embracing their collection, preservation and study, as well as providing information to the public and presenting work results in the form of publications and museum exhibitions. Study collections are envisaged for scientific research, and as evidential material enable the verification of research results. Furthermore, they are invaluable reference sources. The Vertebrate Department’s study collections are the most complete material sources of information on the vertebrates in the Slovenian territory. The exhibition collections are intended for the general public: to educate and raise awareness among visitors about the heritage of natural origin. Within the Department’s framework, the Slovenian Bird Ringing Centre functions as well.


In terms of their development, fish are the oldest and by far the most affluent group of vertebrates. Currently, a total of more than 24,000 fish species are known.



Slovenia is inhabited by 19 indigenous amphibian species. They evolved from fish in the Devonian period (Paleozoic) and were the first vertebrates to adapt to life on land. In Slovenia, a fossil of an extinct Triassic amphibian has also been found.



Slovenia is inhabited by 22 reptile native species and 1 non-native species (Trachemys scripta turtle, which includes the Red-eared Slider and the Cumberland Slider). In the Slovenian sea, one can also catch sight of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) which, however, does not breed here.



The Capercaillie is our and Europe’s largest grouse. The male is generally black, with conspicuous red patches of naked skin above each eye.



Mammals (Mammalia) are a highly developed and exceedingly successful class of vertebrates. They evolved from extinct reptiles from the Therapsida group.


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