In contrast with the prevailing view, which considers humans as dominating nature, the Department of Vertebrates views humans as inseparable from nature. At the same time, humans differ from other animals in having a unique evolutionary feature: consciousness. Accumulated experience from our short existence on the planet charges us with the obligation to take care of our environment.

This reasoning changes our classical image of Natural History Museums as dark halls with stuffed animals. Our perception of a Natural History Museum is one of a dynamic reference archive from where we draw data to fulfill our obligation towards the environment.

The basic aim of the Vertebrates department is thus the collection of data for this dynamic archive, as well as its protection and conservation so it may be available for future generations.

Currently, this archive is used for research and education in the NHMC, for research needs of other institutions both in Greece and abroad as well as for any other cause (management, protection or other) aiming in the conservation of our common heritage.