Posts written by tepapamuseum

Last meal

Tom Trnski has had a good look inside our sunfish’s stomach. He’s discovered that the last meal the sunfish probably ate was jellyfish – tasty for sunfish, but not so tasty for us! Inside the stomach were several long jellyfish tentacles. There were even some still inside the mouth! It looks like the sunfish probably… Read more »

It’s a boy!

We think. Tom and Andrew have identified tissue from the sunfish’s gonads, which they believe to be testicular tissue. Gonad tissue in adult female sunfish is pink. Gonad tissue in adult male sunfish is white. However, our sharp-tail sunfish is an immature specimen and in immature sunfish the gonad tissue is…pink regardless of the sex!… Read more »

Scientists from Auckland Museum and Te Papa are busy preparing the sharp-tail sunfish for dissection. We have our own photographers and photographers from the Dominion Post taking images of the specimen. This will help us to record what the specimen looked like as soon as it was taken from the freezer. Over time, whether the specimen… Read more »

Sunfish science is live and online!

Scientists measuring the sharp-tail sunfish. Photographer: Ruth Hendry (c) Te Papa

Our livestream is now over. Thanks for joining in! We’ll put the video online once we have uploaded it. You can view it here: http://webcast.tepapa.govt.nz/mediasite/catalog/catalogs/SunFish Due to popular demand from you, we’ve started the livestream early. Watch live here: http://webcast.tepapa.govt.nz/mediasite/catalog/catalogs/SunFish You can watch on your mobile or your desktop. Even better, soon you’ll be able… Read more »

Sunfish science – live!

Exciting news! Tomorrow you can watch our scientists as they work on our rare sunfish specimen - live. From 2.30pm (NZ time) on 13 Aug 2013 Te Papa’s scientists will be carrying out research – and you can watch it online. Go to: http://webcast.tepapa.govt.nz/mediasite/catalog/catalogs/SunFish Join in! Te Papa’s scientists will be conducting research on our sunfish specimen… Read more »

You’re probably aware by now, Te Papa’s scientists are conducting research on our sunfish specimen on 13 August 2013. We’ll be live-blogging and sharing the scientists’ findings through Facebook and Twitter. It’s a fantastic opportunity to sit in as scientists do their research on these rarely seen animals. What will happen to the sunfish after… Read more »

11 fascinating sunfish facts

  • Close-up of the sunfish's mouth (beak covered by tarpaulin). Photographer: Michael Hall © Te Papa
  • Andrew Stewart, Te Papa's lead scientist on the sunfish project. Photographer: Michael Hall © Te Papa
  • Te Papa scientists lifting the heavy sunfish. Photographer: Michael Hall © Te Papa
  • Taking a closer look at the sunfish. Photographer: Michael Hall © Te Papa

Te Papa recently received a rare sunfish specimen from Auckland Museum, so we decided to find out more about these mysterious ocean-dwelling animals. Here are our fascinating facts: 1.Sunfish don’t have a tail! Some people call them a ‘gigantic swimming head’ (which seems a bit rude). Instead of a tail their dorsal and anal fins… Read more »