Posts categorized as Science

Doodia rasp ferns become Blechnum hard ferns

  • Blechnum neglectum, previously Pteridoblechnum neglectum, found only in north-eastern Australia. Right: Blechnum diversifolium, from New Caledonia. Blechnum diversifolium is more closely related to the species previously placed in Pteridoblechnum than it is to most species of Blechnum. Photos Leon Perrie. Composite © Te Papa.
  • Blechnaceae ferns are common in several parts of the world. For instance, all New Zealanders will be familiar with kiokio and its relatives in the genus Blechnum, colloquially known as “hard ferns” because of their coriaceous fronds.  Kiokio (Blechnum novae-zelandiae) is a common sight on road cuttings, amongst other habitats, and occurs throughout the country. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • Left: rasp fern, Blechnum parrisiae, previously called Doodia australis, occurs in both Australia and New Zealand. Right: Blechnum gibbum, from New Caledonia. Blechnum gibbum is more closely related to the species formerly placed in Doodia than it is to most species of Blechnum. Photos Leon Perrie. Composite © Te Papa.
  • Blechnum orientale, in Fiji. Most species of Blechnum in New Zealand are “dimorphic”, with obviously different fertile and sterile fronds. (The exception is Blechnum fraseri, which is only partially dimorphic.) However, many overseas Blechnum are “monomorphic” like Blechnum orientale, which is widespread in the tropics from Asia through Australia to the Pacific.  Photo Leon Perrie. (c) Te Papa.

A key principle in the scientific classification of animals, plants, and other living things is that the system of scientific names reflects their relationships. This is because there is only a single evolutionary history, and it provides an objective basis by which to name life. As we learn more about these evolutionary relationships, scientific names… Read more »

Colossal New Addition to Te Papa’s Scientific Collections

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  • Jar and pail storage at Te Papa's collections facility. Photo: Rick Webber, Copyright Te Papa.
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Today we’ve been hearing about the most recent addition to Te Papa’s scientific collections, a new colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. We’re playing host to a dozen or so media representatives as well as our own live-streaming film crew, who are following intently the activity of five visiting squid scientists from AUT, led by Dr Kat… Read more »

The fascination of squid

Aaron visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. The squid in the tank behind him are big-fin reef squid. And that is an octopus on his t-shirt. As Aaron explains ‘…my passion for cephalopods is prominent in my attire as well as my household belongings.’ © Aaron Boyd Evans

On Tuesday 16th September Te Papa will be hosting a very special event. A colossal squid, recently caught in the Ross Sea, will be examined by scientists and you can watch as we live stream the action on YouTube from 11am. Our presenter will be Veronika Meduna, from Radio New Zealand’s Our Changing World. Squid scientists… Read more »

Colossal squid – the body parts

Colossal squid beak. Photographer: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

Colossal squid are the heaviest invertebrates on Earth, with specimens reported weighing in at 495kg – that’s nearly eight times as heavy as the average human! Despite their size, large colossal squid specimens in good condition are rarely available to scientists. That’s why scientists from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) are excited to undertake research… Read more »

Te Papa is excited to announce that there’s something big – extremely big – in our freezer. It’s got eight arms and two tentacles, with some rather fearsome looking hooks. It’s got eyes the size of a soccer ball. It’s got a doughnut-shaped brain. Can you guess what it is yet? It’s a new colossal… Read more »

Makara students go ‘behind the scenes’

The students are shown a white-bellied sea eagle.

Back in July, students from Makara Model School had the chance to meet some Te Papa curators and get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at part of our Natural History collection store. This opportunity came about as part of Science Live: Expedition Snares Island that was broadcast earlier in the year. By asking our scientists a question… Read more »