Help identifying an object, a treasure, or a specimenTe tono āwhina hei tautohu pēnā he taonga, he aha atu rānei

Our experts are happy to help you identify objects, taonga, and specimens. Please bear in mind that we receive thousands of identification requests every year. You may be able to identify your item by using the resources provided on this website.

Note: Te Papa does not provide object valuations.


Send us a photograph

Use our contact form to request identification from a digital photograph.

Note: to identify an animal, a plant, a rock, a mineral or a fossil, we require particular information along with your image:

Help identifying an animal, a plant, a rock, a mineral or a fossil

Don’t send the real thing (yet)

Please don’t bring or send items to Te Papa without contacting us first. When you email us, we’ll find the right expert to help with your request. We’ll also advise on how to get your item to that person safely, if appropriate.


We won’t charge you for identifications requiring less than an hour of our assistance. Occasionally, it takes longer to identify an item, in which case we’ll contact you to discuss a fee – you can choose to cancel your request if preferred.