Posts written by Jane Keig

Great white shark new arrival at Te Papa

  • Sensory organs on the shark's head.  Photo by Jane Keig.
  • Inside the mouth of a great white shark.  Photo by Jane Keig.
  • Parasites found on the shark. Photo by Jane Keig.
  • The great white shark's underside. Photo by Jane Keig.

This morning, our fish team went to a small boatshed in Breaker Bay on Wellington’s south coast to pick up a great white shark.  Not your normal morning mission and a bittersweet one at that as these creatures are endagered animals and a protected species.  The shark had been ensnared in a fishing net and… Read more »

Phar Lap exhibition unveiled in Melbourne today!

  • Heart bikkies
  • Horse head bikkies!
  • Carrot cake cupcakes!
  • Phar Lap's skeleton - media madness!

There was a palpable air of excitement around Melbourne Museum< Australia, as people queued and tv crews jostled at the starting gate of the revamped Phar Lap display.  The exhibit was officially opened by Victoria’s Minister for Racing, Hon. Rob Hulls, with speeches by Museum Victoria’s Director, Dr. Patrick Greene, and Michael Houlihan, Te Papa’s Chief… Read more »

Battle of Britain lace on display on Wednesday 15 September

Philip Henry Edwards

Wednesday 15 September 2010 marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the first major campaign fought entirely by airforces.  Kiwi Air Vice-Marshal Sir Keith Park played an important role in the defence of London and south-east England.  A statue of Sir Keith was recently unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square in recognition of his role. Between… Read more »

Rare dolphin found on Canterbury beach

Rare Hourglass dolphin found dead at Flea Bay in Canterbury.  Photo reproduced courtesy of Department of Conservation.

On the weekend down in Canterbury, apart from the horrific earthquake, there was an extremely unusual dolphin stranding. A 1.8m male Hourglass dolphin came ashore at Flea Bay. Only a handful of complete specimens of this species have ever been dissected before. Although they are sometimes seen in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, they very rarely… Read more »

Last chance to pass the Holden!

HQ Holden station wagon, 1991, by Jeff Thomson. Image © Te Papa.

Jeff Thomson’s corrugated iron HQ Holden has been on display at Te Papa since the museum first opened in 1998 but, on Tuesday 25 May, the car will be moving to our collection storage area for a well-earned rest. The car is being moved so a new long-term history exhbition can be built  on Level 4.   The exhibition will focus… Read more »

New Zealand’s rarest stamp now at Te Papa

  • Dr Patrick Brownsey, Te Papa's stamp curator, holding the Taupo Invert.  Image reproduced courtesy of NZ Post Group.
  • Dr Patrick Brownsey, Te Papa's stamp curator, holding the Taupo Invert
  • Brian Roche, NZ Post's Chief Executive, hands the Taupo Invert stamp to Te Papa's Acting Chief Executive and Kaihautū, Michelle Hippolite.  Photo reproduced courtesy of NZ Post Group.
  • Image reproduced courtesy of New Zealand Post Group

Have a look at this picture of New Zealand’s rarest stamp – see anything unusual about it? It’s a bit hard to see because of the post marks but the centre scene is actually upside down.  It’s known as the Taupo Invert and it’s the only survivor out of the 80 incorrectly printed stamps. The… Read more »

Dissecting a killer whale 2

  • Dr Steven Raverty discusses bruising sites with Dr Ingrid Visser and Anton van Helden. © Te Papa, 2010
  • The killer whale calf's tail fin. © Te Papa, 2010
  • Anton van Helden points to a blood clot on the whale's head. © Te Papa, 2010
  • The baby killer whale's tongue with the whitish flaps along the tip and sides. © Te Papa, 2010

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING The dissection of the killer whale finished yesterday.  This killer whale was very young when it stranded and died.  It was given to Te Papa by Te Runanga o Makaawhio and measured just over two metres long. Its tongue had flaps like the pygmy right whale I… Read more »

Dissecting a killer whale

Dr Steven Rafferty and Dr Ingrid Visser (centre left and right) looking at the umbilical area of the baby killer whale

At Te Papa, our scientists practice non-lethal whale research but in New Zealand where there are hundreds of strandings a year, opportunities arise to study animals that have died as a result of stranding.  Of course the best way to study whales is in their natural environment, but these kind of dissections can tell scientists… Read more »

Tales from Te Papa: Iguanodon tooth

The Country of the Iguanodon, 1837 by John Martin (1789–1854), watercolour. Gift of Mrs Mantell-Harding, 1961. Image © Te Papa.

In 1825, Gideon Mantell described fossil teeth and bones from a quarry near Cuckfield in Sussex, England. He named these remains ‘Iguanodon’ meaning ‘having teeth like those of an Iguana’ (a lizard), but he correctly determined that they were quite unlike the teeth of any known lizard or mammal. He is credited with being the… Read more »