Posts categorized as Science Live @ Te Papa

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 »

What’s fishy, heavy, rarely seen and now at Te Papa? A sunfish – the world’s heaviest bony fish! This is a common sunfish, also called an ocean sunfish. Our specimen is the rarer sharp-tailed sunfish. When Andrew Stewart got an email with some very exciting pictures from Tom Trnski at Auckland Museum on the 14th… Read more »

Riders of the storm – the severely depleted next generation

  • Broad-billed prion chick, Trig Island, Codfish Island, December 2011. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Trig Island, off the east coast of Codfish Island. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa, December 2011
  • Prions killed during the July 2011 storm event. Photo: Alan Tennyson, Te Papa
  • Fluttering shearwaters killed by the Rena oil spill. Photo: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

2011 was a terrible year for New Zealand seabirds. The Rena oil spill in October received the most media coverage and provided dramatic images (see Rena oil spill blogs). More insidious were the impacts of the Japanese earthquake and ensuing tsunami in March. A plume of radioactive fallout from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power… Read more »

Riders of the storm – thousands of seabirds perish on New Zealand shores

  • TEPAPA_n457357_v1_Prion_Fig_7
  • Fig. 7. The calm before the storm – healthy broad-billed prions on Kundy Island, off Stewart Island, March 2011. Photo: Colin Miskelly
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  • Fig. 5. Beach-wrecked broad-billed prions, Paekakariki (Wellington west coast), 16 July 2011. Photo: Colin Miskelly

It started as a trickle and soon developed into a flood of devastating proportions. On 11 July 2011 I received an email enquiry from a family at Waikanae seeking help with identifying an unusual seabird that they had found dead on their driveway. It was a Salvin’s prion, a not-too-unexpected discovery near the coast during… Read more »