Echinodermata and deuterostome invertebrates

An echinodermata against a black background

The Natural History Museum holds a significant collection of deuterostome invertebrates, of which about 10% represents type material.

Echinoderm specialists who have worked with the Natural History Museum collection include David Dilwyn John, Ailsa Clark, Frank W.E. Rowe, Gordon Paterson and Andrew Smith. 

A specimen of Asturias rubens Linneaus, 1758 acquired in 2019 was the first European echinoderm to have its genome sequenced.


  • Echinodermata:
    • Asteroidea: 31,000 (wet, dry)
    • Crinoidea: 9,500 (wet, dry)
    • Echinoidea: 24,500 (wet dry)
    • slides: 2,500
  • Holothuroidea: 25,000 (wet, slides)
  • Ophiuroidea: 170,000 (wet, dry)
  • Urochordata: 35,000 (wet), 1,600 (slides)
  • Cephalochordata: 7,500 (wet), 85 (slides)
  • Hemichordata: 10,000 (wet), 1,450 (slides)

Important historical collections

  • Carl Gottfried Semper Holothurian collection (1832-1893) 
  • F.J. Bell collection

Expedition material

  • HMS Challenger (global oceanographic mission 1872-1876)
  • HMS Discovery (Antarctic Investigations 1925-1928)
  • IOS Discovery collections
  • Terra Nova Expedition (Antarctica 1910-1913)
  • John Murray Arabian Sea Expedition (1933-1934)
  • Great Barrier Reef Lowe Isles Expedition (1928-1929)

Looking for a specimen?

This collection is being digitised

Principle curator (other deuterostome invertebrates)

Miranda Lowe

If you would like to use any specimens for research, please get in touch

Principal Curator in Charge, Invertebrates (non-insects)

Dr Lauren Hughes

If you would like to use any specimens for research, please get in touch

Echinoid directory

Echinoid directory


Find out why our 80 million specimens are a globally important resource for scientific reference and research.

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Collections on the move

We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected. 

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