Elephant bird DNA reveals that the Kiwi is not an Aussie

Alan Cooper holds a giant elephant bird leg bone in front of a kiwi skeleton for media as Alan Tennyson looks on. Photo: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

A study published in the journal Science today reveals a new and unexpected origin for New Zealand’s iconic kiwi and overturns the previous idea that the ancestors of kiwi flew directly over from Australia (see Miocene fossils show that Kiwi are probably not phyletic dwarves, Paleornithological Research 2013, and St Bathan’s kiwi – NZ Birds Online). … Read more »

New Zealand’s own Roswell?

Aberhart - Riverton

In 1947 silvery pieces of wreckage were found in a field near Roswell, New Mexico. They were quickly confiscated by personnel from the Roswell Army Air Field base and a rumour that an alien spacecraft had crash landed soon spread. But with little evidence the story didn’t go far until 30 years after the event… Read more »

Tschüss, Deutschland!

  • AG Besprechung Heidi Bernhard Dirk jpg
  • AG Besprechung Niklas Christoph Janina jpg
  • cycling in Oldenburg
  • Humboldt_meeting_photo

That is the informal way of saying “Goodbye, Germany!” in German. My time as Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow in Oldenburg has now come to an end, and I wanted to share a few reflections on my experiences in Germany. The last several months of the fellowship were a flurry of activity on all fronts…. Read more »

10 days left to find ferns and win!

Mamaku, Cyathea medullaris. Photographer: Leon Perrie © Te Papa

You’ve only 10 days left to enter our Find ferns and win! competition. Entering is easy – find a New Zealand fern, take its picture, and send the picture to us; more details below. What can you win? Each fern picture gets you in the draw to win either one of these books from Te Papa… Read more »

My Curioseum Overnight Adventure

A uniform that once belonged to New Zealand Premier Richard Seddon startles in the textile storeroom.

In late March, Te Papa hosted 20 young aspiring authors and illustrators for a sleepover. Held in association with the New Zealand Festival Writers and Readers Week, the sleepover celebrated the launch of The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous edited by Adrienne Jansen and published by Te Papa Press. Find out more… Read more »

Confusing Circles Captured on Northland Night

ELJ - night sky spiral

From 1956 artist and photographer Eric Lee-Johnson began photographing the night sky near his Northland home of Waimamaku. He generally used time exposures, where the shutter is held open from anywhere between seconds to hours. With longer exposures the stars show up as trails formed by the rotating motion of Earth. Aiming the camera at… Read more »

Science Live: Secret World of Ferns broadcast

Hound's tongue fern, Microsorum pustulatum.  Photo (c) Leon Perrie.

If you missed the live broadcast of Science Live: Secret World of Ferns, it’s now on YouTube so you can watch it now or anytime you like. The video explores the surprisingly complicated life-cycle of ferns, how to distinguish the different kinds of tree ferns, and we see inside the room holding Te Papa’s collection… Read more »

Science Live: Secret World of Ferns – today!

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Tune into Science Live: Secret World of Ferns today from 2.00pm. You can watch the livestream on the YouTube player below, or visit Te Papa’s YouTube channel. Get involved! What you would like to know about ferns? You can ask Leon Perrie, Curator of Botany, your questions via: Email: sciencelive@tepapa.govt.nz Twitter: using the hashtag #sciencelivetepapa… Read more »

James Brown sits in on a workshop

  • Greg throws a few shapes before Walk (Series C) and a group from Wellington High School. Photographer: Helen Lloyd © Te Papa
  • Visual-poem
  • Art in action. Photographer: Helen Lloyd © Te Papa
  • Students-taking-a-closer-look

James Brown, Writer On 12 and 13 May, writer and artist Gregory O’Brien gave a series of workshops to school groups about collaborations between artists and writers, and the ongoing conversation between art and text. I sat in on one. I work at Te Papa as part of the Writing Team, and, as someone who… Read more »

Alien Power Source Discovered by NZ Photographer?

Cosmo Flying disk IV

If you watched late night television towards the end of the 1960s you might remember the following theatrically pronounced lines: For [architect David Vincent] it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without… Read more »