Vertebrate Curator Alan Tennyson explores the history of the name of the wandering albatross and the hunt for the original specimens. The wandering albatross is one of the world’s greatest ocean wanderers, with individuals circumnavigating the Southern Ocean and travelling 120,000 km in a year. These albatrosses have been among the mostRead more

If you see a dead bird on a New Zealand beach it is likely that you have found a prion, as they are the most common kind of bird washed ashore. So why has almost no-one heard of prions and why are many dead on our beaches? The answer isRead more

Seal shark head, jaws open showing teeth

This beauty and the beast tale did not end happily ever after for either character. Te Papa staff member Hokimate Harwood collected a rather smelly deceased albatross on Wellington’s south coast on 15 November. A Shark Tale In the lab we were astounded to see a shark’s tail protruding fromRead more

Steve at the famous Lyme Regis fossil site in England.

On 16 October 2014 Te Papa hosted tyrannosaur expert Dr Stephen Brusatte who revealed the newest members of the tyrannosaur family to an enthusiastic audience. We heard about his global travels to dig up fossils and the latest research on tyrannosaur diversity and evolution. Only this year Steve helped describeRead more

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’sRead more