Posts categorized as Whales

Necro… what?

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That got your attention! I’ve been learning some dissection terms. Autopsy is generally used in relation to humans and looks at cause of death. A necropsy usually refers to animals. It looks at how the animal’s body works as well as the possible cause of death. Here’s a picture of the pygmy right whale fresh… Read more »

We had a whale of a time…

  • Dolphin Detective
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  • Dolphin Detectives at Te Papa

On Monday evening 40 or so children had a blast in the Whales|Tohorā exhibition being “Dolphin Detectives”, all thanks to the Friends of Te Papa. Anton van Helden, Te Papa’s marine mammal scientist, was assisted by the kids and his four specially equipped assistants (complete with dolphin dorsal fins). We divided everyone up into four teams – the sperm… Read more »

Pygmy right whale

Things are never, ever dull at Te Papa! Next week we have another team of international scientists coming to examine a pygmy right whale specimen. This small whale (Caperea marginata) stranded on 13 May 2007 in the far north of New Zealand. > Follow the story of this examination blogged live Pygmy right whales are… Read more »

Two blue whale hearts

Whale lab in the exhibition

Two blue whale hearts Enjoying the inside of the life-size model of a blue whale heart The model of the blue whale heart in the Whales|Tohorā exhibition is the actual size of a blue whale’s heart! That’s about the size of a small car… The heart model is one of the most popular parts of… Read more »

Whales and squid – school holiday fun! Number 3

Sperm whale and giant squid cartoon

Colour in a cool cartoon! Sperm whale and giant squid cartoon (pdf, 539 KB) Another awesome whale cartoon from Anton van Helden, Te Papa’s marine mammal scientist. This one has a sperm whale AND a giant squid! Just click on this link Sperm whale and giant squid, print out the picture, and colour however you like! What’s the difference… Read more »

Unique pūtōrino

  • Richard Nunns playing a whale rib putorino
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  Richard Nunns playing his unique whale rib pūtōrino on Te Papa’s marae. Richard Nunns, expert in ngā taonga pūoro (Māori musical instruments), has a very unusual pūtōrino, or flute, made from the rib of a right whale. With its long, curving shape and carved references to the tail flukes and blow hole of a… Read more »

Whales Fab Fact 10: leftover legs

Sperm whale skeletons during installation

Whales Fab Fact 10: leftover legs Whales don’t have external hind limbs. Their hind limb bones are reduced in both number and size. The large male sperm whale on display has a tiny remnant femur (thigh bone) fused to its pelvic bone.   The two sperm whale skeletons during installation of Whales|Tohorā. Kāore he kaupeka… Read more »

Whales Fab Fact 9: big breath

Whales Fab Fact 9: big breathers Whales breathe through their blowholes at the surface. When they dive and swim underwater, they hold their breath. Ka hā ngā tohorā mā ngā pehu i te kārewa o te wai. Ina ruku, ina kauhoe hoki i raro i te wai, ka puritia ō rātou hā. A sperm whale… Read more »