Things are never, ever dull at Te Papa! Next week we have another team of international scientists coming to examine a pygmy right whale specimen. This small whale (Caperea marginata) stranded on 13 May 2007 in the far north of New Zealand.
Pygmy right whales are one of the smallest baleen whales. They are a southern hemisphere species, found most often around New Zealand and southern Australia.
In 1997 Te Papa hosted a major dissection of this species. Recently scientists have become very interested in how pygmy right whales fit into the picture of whale evolution.
Anton van Helden, Te Papa’s Marine Mammal scientist, will be joined by four whale scientists from around the world to dissect the pygmy right whale:
• Dr Catherine Kemper from The South Australian Museum, Adelaide – the world’s leading authority on pygmy right whales.
• Dr Ewan Fordyce from Otago University, Dunedin – an anatomist and palaeontologist who specialises in whale evolution.
• Dr Joy Reidenberg, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York – also an anatomist, who is interested in sound production and breathing in baleen whales.
• Dr Sentiel ‘Butch’ Rommel, University of North Carolina, who took part in the 1997 pygmy right whale dissection. His research interests include mapping the skeleton and associated tissues of whale species.
We hope to bring you some live blog posts – and images – from the pygmy right whale dissection next week.
Special whales talk
Wednesday 7 May, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
The team of international whale scientists will talk about their work and recent discoveries at a special event organised by Friends of Te Papa.
Telstra Clear Centre, Level 3 at Te Papa. Free entry.
LIMITED SEATING – REGISTRATION ESSENTIAL
To reserve a place please phone the Friends office (04) 381 7051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org