Posts categorized as Science

Save Kiwi Week

Te Papa researcher Sarah Jamieson with an adult female North Island brown kiwi. Photo credit: Kyle Morrison.

This week is Save Kiwi week. Te Papa researchers have a long history of studying kiwi. Our kiwi researchers include: Sarah Jamieson, who previously worked at Massey University studying the breeding ecology and habitat preferences of North Island brown kiwi. Alan Tennyson, who led the formal description of a new kiwi species – rowi/Okarito brown kiwi (Apteryx… Read more »

Science Live: Whalebirds – the mystery of the storm riders. Part 1. Come join us!

Fairy Prion in flight. Photo © Phil Battley.

On August 13th scientists at Te Papa hosted their first Science Live event.  The public were able to accompany some of the Museum’s ichthyologists into the lab to watch them dissect and process a sunfish that was over 2m long!  Now they didn’t have crowds of people marching into the Tory Street labs (there just… Read more »

A native species re-recorded for Wellington

  • Underside of a frond of Asplenium lamprophyllum, showing the comparatively long sori (reproductive structures). Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Asplenium lamprophyllum. Photo © Leon Perrie.
  • Distribution map of Asplenium lamprophyllum, based on specimens in Te Papa’s herbarium. Other herbaria have records of the species from northern Taranaki and Whanganui. Click for a page with a zoomable map.
  • Asplenium_lamprophyllum_2_Ngauranga4_reduced

The Wellington Botanical Society has just added* (* actually it is confirmed, rather than added; see update below) another species to the list of native plants known from Wellington – the fern Asplenium lamprophyllum. To find (* rediscover) such a relatively big species so close to New Zealand’s capital city may seem a little surprising. Just… Read more »

Imagine Childcare’s video conference with Te Papa

  • Colossal squid drawing 1, Photographer: Imagine Childcare Centre, © Imagine Childcare Centre
  • Colossal squid drawing 2, Photographer: Imagine Childcare Centre, © Imagine Childcare Centre
  • Colossal squid drawing 3, Photographer: Imagine Childcare Centre, © Imagine Childcare Centre
  • Colossal squid drawing 4, Photographer: Imagine Childcare Centre, © Imagine Childcare Centre

This blog provides an excellent opportunity not only for us to share with you, but  for you to share with each other. How do you use our museum as a learning resource? What do you find to be best practice? Why are museum and gallery experiences important for your tamariki? Our third story comes from Imagine Childcare Centre:… Read more »

Can early years children learn from live science?

Max's sunfish drawing. Photographer: Becs Thomas © Tai Tamariki

Our sunfish science extravaganza was a huge hit with adult science enthusiasts from across New Zealand – and worldwide! But could the same setup work for very young children? Mel Dash, one of Te Papa’s audience engagement team, had the inspired idea of inviting the 3 and 4 year olds from Tai Tamariki Kindergarten, to… Read more »

Sunfish: what do we know?

Te Papa and Auckland Museum scientists discuss how to proceed with the sunfish dissection. Photographer: Ruth Hendry © Te Papa

What have we learnt from our day of sunfish science? Sunfish are very hard to sex! The best we can say is that it’s a boy. We think. We’ll have to wait for the test results to determine conclusively whether it’s male or female. Jellyfish are delicious Although we can’t quiz a sunfish on their… Read more »

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 »