Packed full of stunning pictures, detailed information and beautiful bird calls, NZ Birds Online is an online encyclopaedia of birds created in collaboration between Te Papa, DOC and OSNZ. We’re indebted to the photographers who’ve shared their images with us – and now the world! Joining us for our Meet the photographers series is Adam Clarke, who had the privilege of photographing the elusive long-tailed… Read more »

The titan arum – a rock star of the botanical world.

Amorphophallus titanum in flower, Auckland Domain Wintergarden, 01 December 2013. Photo credit Auckland Council.

Yesterday in Auckland there was a long line of people waiting for a glimpse of something special. This wasn’t the queue for a Justin Bieber concert – the star of this show was a plant! The big attraction was a huge inflorescence of a titan arum (Amorphophallus titanium – the scientific name means giant misshapen phallus)… Read more »

Tell our scientists which coastal creatures you’d like to know more about in Science Live: Coastal creatures. Email sciencelive@tepapa.govt.nz with your suggestions! Walking along many of the beaches in my native UK, I had my head down, ignoring the beautiful view and the pounding waves of the slate grey sea. Instead, I’d be scanning the rocks for fossils,… Read more »

Moss, liverwort, and lichen Workshop

  • Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey collecting a moss near National Park.   The collected material is stored in an envelope folded from a sheet of A4 paper; each collection goes into a separate envelope. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • A so-called leafy liverwort, Lepidolaena.  Most liverworts, and many mosses, are usually found in damp, shaded habitats; I’ve taken this one to a sunny spot for a better photograph.  Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • A crustose lichen, semi-embedded in the surface of a rock, high on Mount Ruapehu.  The black patches at left are the moss Andreaea, an alpine specialist.  Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • Dicranoloma mosses are one of the forest-dominants in New Zealand.  They are not big (although they are quite big for a moss), but they are very common.  This is Dicranoloma menziesii.  Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

Nearly 50 people are attending this year’s John Child Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop in Ohakune.  Bryophytes include mosses and liverworts.  The Workshop is a focussed opportunity to study these small plants.  Although usually overlooked, they actually make a huge contribution to forest biomass and functioning.  Mosses and liverworts reproduce by spores, as do ferns.  Spores… Read more »

Packed full of stunning pictures, detailed information and beautiful bird calls, NZ Birds Online is an online encyclopaedia of birds created in collaboration between Te Papa, DOC and OSNZ. We’re indebted to the photographers who’ve shared their images with us – and now the world! Continuing our Meet the photographers series, we have Peter Reese, a part-time Te… Read more »

Forgotten Highway ferns

  • Umbrella fern, tapuwae kotuku, Sticherus cunninghamii.  Most species in this family have fronds that repeatedly split into two. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • Sweet fern, Pteris macilenta.  The reproductive structures are in lines along the margins of the frond segments, and the veins are obviously netted (diverging and coming back together). Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • Single crape fern, heruheru, Leptopteris hymenophylloides.  Although translucent like a filmy fern, this species grows much bigger and the spore-producing structures are scattered over the frond undersides.  Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • Hairy fern, Lastreopsis hispida.  A shield fern with its reproductive structures in circular aggregates, this species is easily recognised by the hairy bristles on its frond stalk. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

Three of Te Papa’s botanists (plant scientists) are currently at the annual John Child Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop, held this year in Ohakune.    A small group including the Te Papa team spent the week before the Workshop exploring the Forgotten Highway (State Highway 43) between Stratford and Taumarunui, for mosses and liverworts, and ferns as… Read more »

Science Live: Coastal creatures

Some king crabs can grow up to 1.2 metres across! Will we see one of them in Science Live: Coastal creatures? Large king crab, Lithodes aotearoa Ahyong, 2010 © Te Papa

Jandals, surfboard, a good book…whatever you’re taking on holiday with you, don’t miss the third in our Science Live @ Te Papa series! Science Live: Coastal creatures will take you on a journey across the coasts of New Zealand. Our scientists will be showing you some of the amazing animals and plants you can find… Read more »

More than a footnote – Frances Hodgkins’ textile designs

There are a number of paintings by Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947) in the latest season of  Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa  – Te Papa’s new, changing programme of art from the national collection and beyond. Among them are familiar favourites waiting to be revisited - including Hodgkins’ wonderful impressionistic view of a group of women on a windswept Wellington… Read more »