New Zealand has a popular paddle crab (scientific name Ovalipes catharus) found at sandy beaches all round the country and often in fish shops, sometimes alive. I talked about paddle crabs and why they’re important during December’s episode of Science Live, Coastal Creatures.  Paddle crabs or swimming crabs are named for their back pair of legs which… Read more »

Critters of Ohinau Island

  • Close-up of the tusks of a male Mercury Island tusked weta, showing the ridges that are rubbed together to create sound. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • A pair of Mercury Island tusked weta on the forest floor at night, Ohinau Island, January 2014. The large male (with tusks) is on the left; the long appendage at the rear of the female is her ovipositor, used to lay eggs in the soil. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • The entire range of Mercury Island tusked weta. This rare species survived only on 13 ha Middle Island, the small island left of centre in this image. Following eradications of Pacific rats (kiore) on nearby larger islands, they were successfully translocated to Cuvier Island (on the distant horizon), Korapuki Island (immediately below Cuvier Island, and to the lower right of Great Mercury Island), Stanley Island (the large island to the right of Middle Island), the western end of Double Island (which appears as two small islands to the right of Stanley Island), Red Mercury Island (the long, low island on the right), and Ohinau Island (foreground). Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • An adult male Mercury Island tusked wets (Motuweta isolata) on the forest floor at night, Ohinau Island, January 2014. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Te Papa vertebrate curator Dr Colin Miskelly recently spent 12 days on Ohinau Island (east of Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula) as part of a Te Papa seabird research team. This blog reports on some of the more impressive invertebrate species that he found on the island. Ohinau is a 43 ha forested island owned by Ngati… Read more »

Lizards of Ohinau Island

  • Marbled skink, Aorangi, Poor Knights Islands, February 2013. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Common gecko, rock stack off Ohinau Island, February 2014. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Duvaucel's gecko, Ohinau Island, January 2014. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Copper skink, Ohinau Island, January 2014. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Te Papa vertebrate curator Dr Colin Miskelly recently spent 12 days on Ohinau Island (east of Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula) as part of a Te Papa seabird research team. This blog reports on the species of reptiles that he found on the island. Ohinau is a 43 ha forested island owned by Ngati Hei, and lying… Read more »

Preparing for China: Throne of Emperors

Throne of Emperors: coming soon to Te Papa!

Kung hei fat choy!  Happy New Year of the Horse!  We are galloping along with preparations for the exhibition China: Throne of Emperors which will open in the Visa gallery on the 22nd of March.                 In addition to more than 150 ceramic, jade, metalwork and textile objects… Read more »

Landbirds of Ohinau Island

  • Juvenile blackbird (left) and juvenile chaffinch (right) on Ohinau Island, February 2014. These two introduced species are now the most widely distributed bird species on the New Zealand mainland, and have reached most forested offshore islands. Images: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Silvereye, Ohinau Island, February 2014. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • New Zealand fantails on Ohinau Island, February 2014 (adult on left, juvenile on right). Images: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Bellbirds

Te Papa vertebrate curator Dr Colin Miskelly recently spent 12 days on Ohinau Island (east of Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula) as part of a Te Papa seabird research team. This blog reports on the landbird species found on the island. Ohinau is a 43 ha forested island owned by Ngati Hei, and lying about 7 km… Read more »

Seabirds of Ohinau Island

  • Northern diving petrel, Stanley Island, Mercury Islands. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • Adult pied shag roosting on Ohinau Island, February 2014. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Roosting red-billed gulls at the south end of Ohinau Island, January 2014 (Alderman Islands on the horizon). Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Little penguin on the shoreline of Ohinau Island at night. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Te Papa vertebrate curator Dr Colin Miskelly recently spent 12 days on Ohinau Island (east of Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula) as part of a Te Papa seabird research team studying flesh-footed shearwaters. This blog reports on the seabird species found on the island and nearby Ohinauiti Island. Ohinau is a 43 ha forested island owned by… Read more »

Our string puppet shows, performed in November by professional puppeteer Anna Bailey, were such a success that we have decided to make Early Years events  a priority! On the 17th of January, and the 4th of February, many young visitors and their caregivers “trotted on down passed the shops and the park to the far end of… Read more »

If Hairy Maclary came to Te Papa, what do you think he would see and do?

Hairy Maclary contribitions, Photograph: Te Papa, © Te Papa

This was the very question visitors taking part in our Hairy Maclary: A Kiwi Treasure | He taonga a Hairy Maclary programme asked themselves…and boy, did they have heaps of great ideas for our story! Here are some of the individual responses: It was great to see that the ‘big kids’ had ideas too. My favourite is from… Read more »

The silver fern – what is it?

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The debate about changing New Zealand’s flag has reignited.  (Radio New Zealand’s report: Prime Minister raises prospect of changing the flag.) The silver fern is one of the favoured symbols for a new flag.  Aside from being one of New Zealand’s icons, the silver fern is a real plant.  But being on a nation’s flag… Read more »

Te Papa is presenting an evening debate on water on 30 January in its 10-year series of Treaty Debates. This will be a provocative discussion which identifies the major issues in managing our freshwater resources and how these can be resolved.   A panel of speakers brings together a range of expertise and experience: Jacinta Ruru,… Read more »