Te Papa’s curator of terrestrial vertebrates Dr Colin Miskelly is researching the life and work of the Canterbury naturalist Edgar Stead (1881-1949). This includes re-taking Stead’s photos from the same photo-point, taking other images to illustrate his diaries, and describing how the ecology and wildlife of each of 10 islands has changed since Stead’s visits…. Read more »
Posts categorized as Field trips
Few people are aware of Ruapuke Island. Guarding the eastern approaches to Foveaux Strait, the 1600 ha island is large enough to appear as a smudge of colour at the very bottom of TV3’s weather map. Yet the island’s low relief means that passengers on the Stewart Island ferry 20 km to the west barely… Read more »
The Spade-toothed whale Mesoplodon traversii, is now known from 5 specimens, three of which are housed at Te Papa. With only one of these specimens a complete skeleton, the species is as rare as they come – even among beaked whales – the most elusive of all the world’s whales. Whales are special taonga, particularly for… Read more »
You’ll never have seen anything like these New Caledonia ferns in New Zealand, unless you’ve been to a very interesting garden (which I’d love an invitation to!). These are photos from my recent fern collecting trip.
A lot of New Caledonian species belong to fern genera that also occur in New Zealand. Some look very similar to New Zealand species, whereas others are quite different! Here’s a few from my recent trip.
About 35 species of fern are found in both New Caledonia and New Zealand. That’s about 13% and 18% of the total species in each area. Almost all of these are widespread species that are also found elsewhere in the Pacific (and beyond). Here’s a few of them that I saw during my recent field… Read more »
Below are photos of some of the botanical/landscape highlights from the recent expedition to New Caledonia that I participated in. But first, a bit of background: New Zealand and New Caledonia both sit on the (largely) submerged continent Zealandia, which separated from Australia and the rest of Gondwana some 60-80 million years ago. Wikipedia’s page… Read more »
I’m just back from three weeks collecting ferns in New Caledonia. For a place so close to New Zealand (shorter flight time than to Australia), I knew very little about New Caledonia. I expect that is true for many New Zealanders, and it presumably reflects our very different cultures, not least being the language difference… Read more »
Here are just a few of the many highlights from the two international botany conferences I recently attended: Botany 2012 (Columbus, OH, USA) and Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology 2012 (German Botanical Society 21st International Symposium, Mainz, Germany). Plant identification goes visual, interactive and mobile Plant identification keys are useful when you want to identify an… Read more »
Te Papa scientists Dr Susan Waugh and Dr Lara Shepherd recently completed a study of foraging movements of Westland Petrels. The birds were studied in 2 years and during 3 parts of the breeding season (pre-breeding, incubation and chick-rearing). This gave great insights into which ocean areas the birds are using, and where they concentrate… Read more »