Pyramid prion (Pachyptila pyramidalis). Image Alan Tennyson (NZ Birds Online).

New DNA research by Science Researcher Lara Shepherd and Vertebrate Curators Colin Miskelly and Alan Tennyson has revealed parallel evolution in the small seabirds called prions. This unexpected result requires recognition of an eighth species of prion. Their research also revealed that all the birds formerly known as ‘fulmar prions’ are endemic to Aotearoa New Zealand. This means that we have gained two additional endemic bird species, and Australia has lost a breeding species.Read more

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

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