Subtropical tree fern challenge

  • 1 C. Reproductive structures of Cyathea milnei, from the Kermadec Islands, in cultivation at Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Wellington. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • 1 B. Cyathea milnei, from the Kermadec Islands, in cultivation at Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Wellington. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • 1 A. Cyathea milnei, from the Kermadec Islands, in cultivation at Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Wellington. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • 2 A. Cyathea kermadecensis, from the Kermadec Islands, in cultivation at Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Wellington. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

I spent yesterday afternoon in the fernery of Otari-Wilton’s Bush, examining two tree fern species from New Zealand’s subtropical Kermadec Islands. More details below, including ‘why?’. But first, a challenge… Each of these Kermadec tree ferns is closely related to a (different) mainland New Zealand species. Can you tell which mainland species? One of the… Read more »

Exhibiting – ‘Being modern’

As a curator, when you develop an exhibition large or small, your heart and mind travels into this particular zone for quite some time. As the object list develops and you start to examine what is known about the objects, a case builds up for inclusion in the show. This has recently been the case… Read more »

1933/16 – an old acquisition of photographs

E. S. Richards, Original Post Office, Featherston Street, circa 1865,

  One of my favourite groups of photographs in the collection is a series of carte-de-visite prints all bound together by the number ‘1933/16′. From this number we know that this small group of photographs was the 16th group of objects acquired by the Dominion Museum in 1933. We also know that they were gifted by Mrs E. W…. Read more »

Students add a little wow factor to Te Papa Store

  • Christoph and Sheryl with their finished windows.
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  • IMG_8725
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Every year the team at the World of WearableArt™ encourages retailers around Wellington to take part in the annual World of World of WearableArt™ Window Dressing Competition. From 22 September – 7 October 2014 you can be the judge and cast your vote for the best window in town! Simply visit WOWWindowComp.com to cast your vote. Each year Te Papa Store takes… Read more »

Seasonality in birds and birdwatchers

  • Shining cuckoo graph
  • Shining cuckoos are often secretive, but are unmistakeable when seen well. Image: Duncan Watson, New Zealand Birds Online
  • An adult grey warbler (left) feeds a recently fledged shining cuckoo chick. Image: Malcolm Pullman, New Zealand Birds Online
  • An adult shining cuckoo shows its iridescent dorsal plumage. Image: Nathan Hill, New Zealand Birds Online

One of the characteristic sounds of spring in New Zealand is the clear, upward-slurred whistle of the shining cuckoo. Along with its long-tailed cousin, the two cuckoos are the only New Zealand forest birds that migrate away from New Zealand after breeding. This is in sharp contrast to temperate countries in Europe, Asia and North… Read more »

Thanks to everyone who sent in questions – our scientists answered as many as they could during the live stream. There were so many great questions we couldn’t answer them all during the event, so as promised, the most frequently asked questions are answered below. Visit the TONMO forum if you have further questions about… Read more »

World of WearableArt™ Symposium – register today

Its that time of year again – the colourful World of WearableArt™ has quite literally blown into town this week, ready to paint the town red! Hopefully by the time the competing designers fly in from around the world to see their garments take the stage, today’s gale force winds will have died down to a gentle, welcoming  sea breeze.   Wind,… Read more »

Charles Darwin was unimpressed with the south coast of Western Australia when he visited in March 1836 calling it ‘dull and uninteresting’. If, however, he had visited during the spring wildflower season its likely he would have come to the opposite conclusion. These days botanically-inclined tourists, such as myself, flock to southwestern Australia during wildflower season…. Read more »

William Gemmell: WWI amputee postively identified

Te Papa holds 28 sepia-toned photographs taken of New Zealand servicemen who were wounded during World War I. None of the men in these photographs are identified. However, thanks to Julie Gemmell of Waikouaiti, we now know that one of the men in two of these photos is William Clement Gemmell, Julie’s grandfather. In the photograph above,… Read more »

Over 380,000 viewers tuned in over the past 24 hours to watch the examination of our most recent colossal squid. If you missed it, you can still watch it on YouTube here: Watch Te Papa’s colossal squid examination What did scientists find? Digested stomach contents and jelly-filled eyes might not sound exciting, but scientists were… Read more »