Berry Boys: Introducing the ‘Berry Girls’

The ‘Berry Boys’ began as an internal nickname for the men depicted in Te Papa’s collection of soldier portraits by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co. Amongst the soldiers, however, are some anomalies.  Flicking through the collection on mass, something about a couple of soldier portraits demanded a closer inspection. The body shape, the  face, the hair… Read more »

For future generations…Tokelau language week 2013

mitiafu (t-shirt)

This week is Tokelau language week.  The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Ko te au o mātua, ko fānau: At the core of a parents heart, are their children.” With the  younger generation in mind, Te Papa staff will be blogging daily with stories related to Tokelau and its treasures from Te Papa’s collections. This blog… Read more »

A new species of filmy fern

The newly-described rainforest filmy fern, Hymenophyllum pluviatile. Photo Leon Perrie. Copyright Te Papa.

Te Papa’s biodiversity scientists regularly describe new species of plants and animals. Just added to this list is another New Zealand fern. This new species is a Hymenophyllum filmy fern. Hymenophyllum means thin-leaved. The fronds of most species are only one cell thick, giving them a translucent appearance. We have named the new species Hymenophyllum… Read more »

7 things you should know about Tokelau: Tokelau language week 2013

Fakaofo Atoll in the Tokelau Group, photographed from 30,000+ feet on October 19, 2005.

This week is Tokelau language week.  The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Ko te au o mātua, ko fānau: At the core of a parents heart, are their children.” With the  younger generation in mind, Te Papa staff will be blogging daily with stories related to Tokelau and its treasures from Te Papa’s collections…. Read more »

Wearable of the Week # 9

Powelliphanta Pine by Sally Spackman, 2012. World of WearableArt.

This week’s wearable is by Sally Spackman, a recent graduate from Massey University’s fashion design degree. Made from hundreds, if not thousands of coiled pine needles, the spiralled forms that make up Powelliphanta Pine are inspired by the beautiful shells of New Zealand’s powelliphanta snails – the ‘giants of the snail world’.  Powelliphanta snails, of which… Read more »

Tutus on Tour, Tutus at Te Papa

Te Radar narrates as the duck and the cat face off in RNZB's Peter and the Wolf. Photo by: Evan Li

It’s that time of year again, when the Royal New Zealand Ballet divides itself in two mini-companies, and hits the road with a wardrobe full of tutus and pointe shoes to travel the width and breadth of New Zealand, performing in community theatres, town halls and school gymnasiums. I was lucky enough to see a sneak… Read more »

Science Live: Whalebirds – the mystery of the storm riders. Success!

Science Live on YouTube

On Tuesday, 22 October 2013 we, the ornithology team at Te Papa, hosted the museum’s second Science Live event- Whalebirds- the mystery of the storm riders.  We brought the public into the lab using live streaming so they could watch us on YouTube and send questions in via Twitter and Facebook.  It was very exciting… Read more »

Science Live: Whalebirds – the mystery of the storm riders. The Prequel: Influx of Prions to Wellington Zoo

  • Prion in Pool
  • Production line for crop tubing Prions medication, food and fluids. Photo © Wellington Zoo
  • Friendly Prion assisting with food preparation. He actively sought out human company and enjoyed “assisting” with preparations. Photo © Wellington Zoo
  • Lisa Argilla, Veterinary Science Manager at Wellington Zoo. Photo © Wellington Zoo

  Today’s blog is a prequel to yesterday’s Science Live event- Whalebirds- the mystery of the storm riders (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVZjED7Icyc).   It is written by Dr. Lisa Argilla.  Lisa has been the Veterinary Science Manager at Wellington Zoo since early 2011.  She has a keen interest in seabirds seeing as her Master’s thesis research was on… Read more »

Time spent at Gallipoli

  • Sunset looking out from Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa 2013
  • Anzac Cove, looking towards the hills. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa 2013
  • A partial skull near one of the trenches, probably uncovered by recent rains. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, Te Papa 2013
  • Bone poking out of the ground near Chunuk Bair, probably uncovered by recent heavy rain. It was covered up again by our party. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa 2013

It is an unusual thing as any researcher can tell, to feel you know a place with great familiarity through in-depth reading and research but when visiting that place for real, find that no amount of reading will ever compensate for actually standing there in person. That’s the reaction I had on visiting Gallipoli a… Read more »

Science Live: Whalebirds – the mystery of the storm riders. Part 8. Prion evolution

  • Fossil bones of fairy prions are abundant in some South Island West Coast caves showing that the species nested there in huge numbers before humans brought rats to New Zealand.  Photo: Te Papa collections, Alan Tennyson
  • Alan Tennyson with a South Island Giant Moa leg bone. Photo © JC Stahl
  • The evolutionary history of prions is poorly understood but prions have been riding the winds of the southern oceans for at least the last 4 million years.  Photo: Fairy Prion, Philip Griffin, NZ Birds Online
  • The blue petrel is a close relative of prions but unlike prions it has a long narrow beak and a white, rather than black tip to its tail.  Photo: South Atlantic, David Boyle, NZ Birds Online

Here is the final instalment in our series of blogs all about prion biology! This is in preparation for our upcoming Science Live event on Oct 22nd (today!) at 1:50 pm NZ time when you can accompany us into the lab via live streaming (a permanent link to the YouTube video can be found below).  For… Read more »