This week is your last chance to help name a new species

You Called Me What?!, our exhibition looking at how new species are named, closes this Sunday.

For over a year, the exhibition has shed light on some of the scientists who’ve discovered more than 2,500 species since the museum’s beginnings in 1865.

It features:

  • a life-size model of Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) – the most famous namesake of James Hector who is considered the founding father of Te Papa

  • a Taniwhasaurus oweni – an ancient sea beast named after the mythical Māori taniwhataniwha monster

  • and the plant that’s earned the name Aciphylla horrida (‘horrid needle-grass’).

Detail of the You Called Me What?! exhibition, 2017. Te Papa

Along with the exhibition, we've been holding a competition to help name a few new species, including a fern (since named Asplenium lepidotum), a forget-me not, and a rockfish.

There have been quite a few interesting names offered so far, including the humble Barry, the delightfully named Asplenium awesomicum, and – inevitably – Forget Me Mc Get Face.

If you would like to suggest a name for a rockfish, email us your idea – it's your last chance!

You Called Me What?! closes Sunday 2 April.