In 2011, Alastair Johnson was hunting for fossils on a remote beach in Taranaki. Three million-year-old fossil oysters and scallops are common but remains of vertebrates are much rarer. However, on this occasion, something magical appeared out of the rock – the most complete fossil albatross skull ever found. Curator of vertebrates Alan Tennyson tells us more.Read more

Shark tail protruding through hole in northern royal albatross neck

After an albatross specimen was collected on a Wellington beach and taken to Te Papa, curator Alan Tennyson and his colleagues were astounded to see a shark’s tail protruding from its neck.Read 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