Alpine systems & changing biosphere

SNSB have an excellent infrastructure to document and interpret the changing biosphere. Alpine systems represent a special model region. SNSB research focuses on the understanding of alpine systems, changes and interactions of bio- and geodiversity dynamics in this natural area, but also on its settlement history and anthropogenic influence.

Flora of Bavaria

The initiative aims to describe all of Bavaria's more than 4,000 flowering plants and ferns, including naturally occurring, newly naturalized, invasive and extinct species. The project records and documents the state of the Bavarian flora over time and space. The botanical database has now grown to more than 15 million records.

Our mission

The loss of biodiversity and the transformation of biosphere in the wake of the human-induced global change are among the greatest challenges of the future, in Bavaria and worldwide. Natural history collections make a crucial contribution to finding answers to the related questions.

Prehistoric elefant & more

The Munich Paleontological Museum displays impressive fossils - including the first herbivorous prehistoric reptiles, viviparous Ichthyosaurs with embryos, giant flying dinosaurs, the largest Bavarian dinosaur, mammals of the Ice Age such as the mammoth, giant deer and saber-toothed cat, and the impressive skeleton of the Mühldorf prehistoric elephant.

DNA barcoding

Among natural history collections and museums, the Munich State Zoological Collection is the world's largest sample provider for global DNA barcoding of animal species. In the overall statistics, the ZSM ranks second, just behind the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics in Guelph, Canada, the center for global DNA barcoding and the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD).

Bavarian Natural History Collections

The Bavarian Natural History Collections (Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns, SNSB) archive around 32 million specimens  – the second largest natural history collection in Germany. The state collections are very broadly positioned with anthropology, paleoanatomy, botany, mineralogy, paleontology, geology and zoology. The scientific collections are used in many ways by research, but they also provide a basis for academic education and numerous exhibitions in the SNSB museums.


Researchers find new species of bizarre crocodile relatives in East Greenland

30. March 2023 | News
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Crown-of-thorns seastar from Red Sea is endemic species

17. November 2022 | Press Releases
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Cross-border data pipeline for the flora of the Bohemian Forest

10. November 2022 | Press Releases
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Numbers, data and facts

7 Natural History Collections


zoology, botany,

geology and paleontology,

mineralogy, anthropology und paleoanatomy


32 million specimens


10 Natural History Museums

in Munich, Eichstätt, Bamberg,

Bayreuth, Nördlingen and Nürnberg and the

Botanical Garden München-Nymphenburg

700.000 visitors

30 special exhibitions

per year


Ikebana – Japanische Blumenkunst

01.06.2023 - 04.06.2023 - Exhibition
Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

Sonderausstellung des Ikebana Sogetsu München e.V. über die japanische Kunst des Blumenarrangieren [...]

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Blüten und Mythen

25.05.2023 - 18.06.2023 - Exhibition
Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

Fotoausstellung von Sabine Jörg Ort Grüner Saal des Botanischen Gartens München-NymphenburgMenzin [...]

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Blühende Minerale

18.05.2023 - 08.10.2023 - Exhibition
Museum Mineralogia München

Flower Power im Museum Mineralogia München! Ort Museum Mineralogia MünchenTheresienstraße 41D-806 [...]

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Why collections matter

Where do we feel changes?

Why collections matter

Everyone talks about climate change – the biological response to climate change is visible in large collections.

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Evolutionary research

Why collections matter

Life on Earth is changing constantly – collections help to reveal and understand the changes.

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Discovering new species

Why collections matter

So far, only about 10% of all multicellular living organisms on Earth have been discovered – new species can only be reliably recognized by comparison with already known species.

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