The zoological collections of the SMNS hold species and specimens (in total c. 1,350,000 objects) from around the world, their historical significance reach far beyond a southwest German focus. Owing to the manifold taxonomic interests of individual early naturalists leaving their collections to the Natural History Museum Stuttgart, significant parts of the historical zoological collections share a similar provenance. The present growth of the collections (physical specimens as well as DNA samples) is tightly linked to our research in tropical biodiversity hotspots and on native fauna – the latter including, e.g., time series of bird morphology, highly endangered species (e.g. thick shelled river mussel, groundwater snails), invasive (e.g. bullfrog) or socially controversial species (e.g. beaver, greylag goose).