Snares Islands Flora – bryophytes & lichens

  • Caption: A trick for young players! Asplenium gametophytes and young plants. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • Caption: A new record of liverwort for the Snares -the leafy liverwort genus Aneura (centre-left) growing with moss Pyrrhobryum bifarium (sporophytes visable) on a rotting Olearia stem in a gully. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa. (Field of view c. 15cm)
  • Fern Blog Ph 11 - Resized
  • Caption: A new moss record for the Snares Islands - Tayloria purpurascens! Te papa collection item M041684. On the right you can see the leafy gametophyte (gamete plant). And on the left, the stalk-like structure is the sporophyte (spore plant) which develops from female reproductive organs on the gametophyte. (Field of view c. 4cm)

In late 2013, I joined a Te Papa science team on an expedition to the Snares Islands Nature Reserve, 105 km south-southwest of Stewart Island. Here we completed a range of seabird and plant research projects.  One of our research goals on the Snares Islands was to collect non-vascular plants.  Non-vascular plants include mosses, liverworts and hornworts (collectively… Read more »

The Albatross in the Cupboard

Nina Powles is a graduate student of English Literature at Victoria University. She wrote this blog post for a course in Creative Science Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters. She currently lives in Wellington. Photographer: Wen Powles © Wen Powles

Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters is justifiably famous.  One of its innovative creative writing courses goes by the intriguing acronym of  ‘CREW352’.  CREW352 is creative science writing. Recently, CREW352 student Nina Powles interviewed Dr Susan Waugh, Senior Curator of Sciences at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Here is Nina’s… Read more »

Unpacking Shi Lu

Getting there…come along from this Saturday, 22 March 2014, to see the end result…

There is something magical about the installation period for an exhibition. As Paul Alexander, the lead exhibition preparator for Shi Lu: A revolution in paint, says, it’s a lot like Christmas. Having spent hours poring over plans with thumbnail images, it’s exciting getting the works out, getting them ready, and getting them on the wall…. Read more »

Science Live: Expedition Snares Island – today!

Buller’s mollymawk landing (Snares Islands). Te Papa

At 2.00pm today, Tuesday 18th March, Te Papa scientists will be talking about their recent trip to the Snares Islands, and the wonderful wildlife they encountered.   Watch Science Live: Expedition Snares Island via YouTube – and don’t forget to ask your questions! We’ve already had some great questions from people around the country, wanting… Read more »

Snares Islands – first impressions

  • Vegetation surrounding boat harbour. Snares Islands, North-East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • The brown skua (Catharacta antarctica) swooping our cameraman on Station Point. Snares Islands, North-East Island. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa.
  • Antony Kusabs, Collection Manaqger at the South Promontory sign post with Alert Stack and South-west promontory in background. Snares Islands, North East Isalnd. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.
  • Titi () at dusk. Snares Islands, North East Island, Muttonbird Ridge. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.

A Te Papa team recently visited the Snares Islands Nature Reserve, 105 km south-southwest of Stewart Island, where they completed a range of seabird and plant research projects. Here, Antony Kusabs (Collection Manager Sciences) describes his first impressions of the Snares Islands, his first trip to a New Zealand Sub-Antarctic island group. Watch Science Live: Expedition Snares Islands… Read more »

Expedition Snares Island: why do we care?

A pair of fairy prions looking deceptively peaceful in a rock crevice on The Snares. Photo © Kyle Morrison.

Recently some of our scientists carried out fieldwork on the Snares Islands,100 kilometres south of Stewart Island. They’ll be talking about their work live on Science Live: Expedition Snares Island, 18th March, 2.00pm. But why do Te Papa scientists care about the Snares Islands? What’s so special about them that we’d send a team to… Read more »

Shi Lu and the Year of the Horse

Shi Lu's Horses drinking at Yan River - draft 4

The horse has loomed large in China’s long and storied past. It’s not surprising then, that several pop up in the works of the master of modern Chinese painting, Shi Lu (1919-1982), in an exhibition soon to open at Te Papa, Shi Lu: A revolution in paint. Since its domestication in pre-historic times, the horse… Read more »

Birds of the Snares Islands

  • Tourists on a zodiac cruise along the eastern shoreline of the Snares Islands. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • Snares Island snipe and chick, December 2013. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Adult Snares Island tomtit (not to be confused with the similar-looking black robin of the Chatham Islands). Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • A recently fledged Snares Island fernbird foraging on the ground, December 2013. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Four Te Papa staff members visited the Snares Islands Nature Reserve for a fortnight in late 2013, undertaking a variety of seabird and plant research projects (see previous blogs listed below). The Snares Islands are famous for their birdlife, and here vertebrates curator Colin Miskelly looks at some of the species that are unique to… Read more »

The tale of the Te Papa taniwha

  • Te Papa's Taniwha. On display in Bush City Kiosk, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
  • Seaweed handling, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
  • Building the taniwha, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
  • Building the taniwha, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa

This blog comes from our lovely Audience Engagement intern, Shonagh Lowerson-Head: On Sunday 2nd March, as part of our Seaweek Family Fun Day, a new sea monster was created: the Te Papa taniwha. But it’s story starts earlier than that. A week previous, the materials were gathered from Evans Bay beach. Sea Shepherd, a marine… Read more »

Teacher Professional Development: Visual Culture and Visual Arts in ECE

  • Inside the painting, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni
  • Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni
  • Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni
  • Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art galleries are a great resource for young learners, but often teachers can feel quite daunted at the prospect of visiting them! One of our goals in Te Papa Education is to build teacher knowledge, skill, and confidence in engaging and responding to art with young children, and so, on Saturday 1st March, we held our first… Read more »