Moa vs Superman: Poignant extinction lessons via a 1970s comic
Lots of us can list a handful of Superman’s foes – Lex Luthor, General Zod, Doomsday – but few know of the time that Superman fought a giant moa. That’s right, New Zealand’s own moa! Science researcher Rodrigo Salvador tells us more.
Crabeater seals and their mysterious attraction to the Hutt River (the sequel)
About three years ago, vertebrate curator Colin Miskelly made the ‘rash’ claim that the best bet for seeing a crabeater seal in New Zealand was to visit the mouth of the Hutt River in Wellington Harbour – and wait approximately 25 years. But one showed up in July 2019.
Wellington has its very own snail species, Potamopyrgus oppidanus, found nowhere else in the world – and it’s smaller than a grain of rice. But their numbers are alarmingly decreasing due to bikers and weeds.
Lots of us care about saving the whales, but not many get as hands-on as technician Stephanie Ho. She’s spent the last nine months caring for whale bones in Te Papa’s collections. It’s a messy, smelly and painstaking job, but it’s protecting these important specimens for the future.
A new species of liverwort has just been identified in Wellington and named after local amateur botanist Rodney Lewington (1935–2018). Botanist Lara Shepherd tells us more about liverworts and Rodney’s contribution to New Zealand botany.
We need your help tracking New Zealand’s native and introduced mosquito species so we can get a better understanding of which species live where and how they’re spreading. Simply catch it, freeze it, and send it!
Would you have the patience to spend 10 years trying to find something practically invisible? Botanist Carlos Lehnebach recently discovered his ‘holy grail’ – a collection of tiny ghost orchids in the Wellington region.
Over-looked for a century: Macquarie Island shag added to the New Zealand list
‘Presumably no-one bothered to check till now whether Ogilvie-Grant knew one shag from another.’ Curator Colin Miskelly shares his research resulting in the addition of a new (or old) bird to the official New Zealand bird list.
Reassembling bones: How to build a Hector’s dolphin
Navigating brittle bones and teeth the size of rice, Thomas Schultz, Collection Manager Science, reflects on putting a Hector’s dolphin back together for an exhibition that would tour North America for ten years.
ShakerMod – play an educational Minecraft mod which simulates earthquakes and creates an experiential and playful approach to understanding how to protect our homes against them – Fix. Fasten. Don’t Forget!
Ancient colossal penguin bones discovered in Otago
What do you do when you discover what is possibly the largest penguin ever? You name it after your mum. This is what Curator Vertebrates Alan Tennyson – who has a paper on the discovery out today – did.
Dr Hamish Campbell, Te Papa’s geologist in residence from GNS Science, talks about the news that intrigued the world in February 2017 – that it can legitimately be claimed that Zealandia is a distinct continent.
In photos: Giant eggs, tiny eggs, and the eggceptionally rare
Bird expert Colin Miskelly highlights some of the treasures in our egg collection, including those thought to be held only by Te Papa – as well as giant moa eggs, tiny rifleman eggs, and eggs that were acquired during dramatic events in New Zealand’s conservation history.
Jean-Claude explains why photographing a water bear is such a ‘bugbear’ and bug expert Phil Sirvid fills us in on exactly what a water bear is, and why they are one of the most indestructible creatures on the planet.
Kingdom of the Birds: An Expedition to Solander Island
The remote Snares Islands are teeming with rare wildlife – including tomtits, albatross, and penguins. They seldom have human visitors. In late 2013, four Te Papa scientists spent two weeks on the Snares, carrying out a range of seabird and plant research projects.